NOTE: This is a full archive for the Project Community: You & The World (2012) please see the main site for the most up to date information.

Archives For Group 1

Third week for me

This is already my third week at this course and i like it more and more. The online platforms that we are using in order to communicate with the colleagues, the teams and the teachers, i think that are very useful. It is very interesting to see and talk with other persons about your projects and with their help to improve your work. It is helpful as well to see the others work and to learn from them as they learn from you. it is a experience and knowledge exchange.

For me it is a new thing, and a new way of working in teams. All the teachers help you and they offer their support every time you need it.

I think one of the most important things at this course, is that we are all in the same class with the teachers (Area51). This is a very interesting idea and makes students interact more with their teachers when they need help. Last year, at the other program, in order to talk with a teacher or to have a feedback, you had to make appointments, or they were sending you to other persons telling you that they can’t help you, or even better telling you that they don’t have time for you.It was frustrating and it gave you the impression that no one is helping you when you need it. 

But here, it is a different story. Everyone is willing to help you anytime you need and the online facilitation programs are very interactive.

Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Reflections

PERSONAL BLOG REFLECTION PROMPT #5

The online facilitation program works really well for me, my classmates and my teachers. It works just as the teacher manages discussions and learning activities in the traditional classrooms, as it is online. It also gives us an access for a bigger and more interactive structure that recognizes the social and interactive elements of knowledge and construction. 
So far the facilitation structures such as Google+Hangouts, Google Docs, Facebook, etc., have been useful for our individual and group project (online discussions with tutors,..) serving us in one very effective way.
The online facilitation could be a powerful source for us if we understand the dynamics of online communication and interactions and learn more effective ways of facilitating, teaching and learning online.
In the next few weeks i want to design the right mix of online and off-line activities for me that will help me to create my own online facilitation process. I think that’s really important for everyone to have his own skills and techniques of facilitating.

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Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Alex Peykov's Tumbleblog

Personal Blog Reflection Prompt #5

Regarding my own learning

So far, to be honest, I don’t have a very satisfying feeling regarding my own learning. Normally, when I feel like I really learnt something, I can at least sum up some big insights that I had. That’s not really been the case in this project so far.

I do of course know that those big insights are only a small part of the actual learning taking place. An important part of the things I learn usually revolve around the ways of expressing things, certain terminology and other small things. Of course that’s really important. Especially the way of expressing/communicating things is a thing that I’m very interested in. Since I know that that is one of the areas that I know I can have the biggest impact with if I improve it. But then again, regarding that I learnt a lot probably, but I cannot really tell what specifically.

Of course a big part of the learning of those small things is facilitated by my fellow students and the course facilitators. It’s their way of saying and expressing things, that I try to suck up (as a sponge) and make use of at the right time.

Regarding my peers’ learning

I think I can add a lot more to my peers’ learning than to my own learning. I’ve already been doing that in my group, since I am already very familiar with OpenIDEO and Ushahidi, and for a couple of other groups who are working on Basecamp. I find that to be really satisfying, although I have to admit as well that it is a little less satisfying having to do that in my own group. Since I’ve already been working in education for a couple of years now, developing human potential is really one of my passions. I love helping others in their learning and I always hope to ignite a little bit of passion and create wonder about the world around is. That is what I like to do in groups of 13 year old students, but still as relevant and awesome to do in groups of much older people. In the end I always try to inspire people in general, it doesn’t matter how old they are, but I’d prefer to see similar faces like in this picture of my students of last year:

One thing that I am really missing currently in the whole peer-learning process is a way to communicate the group progress. I’d love to be able to jump in on conversations that are really about the project itself. These reflections are good to read, but personally I don’t find them as interesting as diving into the subject matter for real. I do like to find out what the other groups are doing through a Google Hangout, like this week, but I would still prefer to really see what they have set on paper, regarding their topic. That is because I want to add comments to small details and provide bits of inspiration to the other groups, but I don’t want to waste another groups’ time on listening/having to read things they already know.

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Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Bart Hoekstra's Tumbleblog

Help me help you help me help you….

The thing is like the most about this study is that the people are very diverse, concerning race, culture, knowledge, etc. this means that I am always able to learn something new and that people are able to learn something from me if they are willing to. During these few weeks I’ve learned a lot. For example I learned about many programs that can be used to make file sharing in working groups a lot easier. At first I always used dropbox, because I didn’t think it could get ay easier than that, but then a fellow teammate introduced me to base camp and Google docs. It took me a while to get out of my comfort zone and experience the new programs but once I did it I realized that there really are always better options.

In both of the groups that I am working now I play the role of team leader. It’s a great and challenging role, especially when it comes to motivating my teammates to do what must be done. I always knew that people do much better at something that they are interested in and that they know they’re good at. For example, I love to write, and for all the project of this first year there’s a lot of writing required and it’s absolutely no problem for me. But not everyone likes to write, meaning that those who don’t enjoy it will probably not do as well as those who do enjoy it. As group leader I therefore figured that it’s better to try and assign people roles that they will enjoy doing. There are always going to be things that we have to do that we don’t want to do but there must be one or more steps in the process that at least one team member would enjoy doing. Then again there’s also lack of interest at all, which is very difficult when it comes to the role of motivation. This is where I would need the team coach.

The coaches have been very helpful, they make things a lot clearer and as we talk about the process with them they tweak the flaws by advising us about our good ideas and our more improvable ideas. What I have been missing is a bit more assertiveness from some of the faculty. I have never believed that it’s fair for people to receive credit for something that they did not do, and in group work, group credit is received regardless of who did what and the difference in amount of participation and input. I don’t want anyone to fail, but a team is a team and it’s about equal input. As a leader I try my best to continuously motivate and get the best out of each of my teammates but sometimes it gets very difficult because since these teammates are still my peers, they do not take me as seriously as they take the faculty since they are the ones that decide how much credit should be received.

What I appreciate very much is how the faculty is so open to ideas. It’s always about what can be improved, even Nancy always asks if she has been helpful. I have experienced true caring about the activity and the classes and I really love seeing that, that I’m working with people who enjoy working with me and who want to improve. I have experienced many people in my life who have closed their minds to ideas of people that might be younger or less experienced then them, I believe that I can learn from a 4 year old, so I’m very happy that the faculty and my teachers believe they can learn from me. 

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Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Deyna's

Personal Blog Reflection Prompt #5

I think facilitation in this course is handled very well. Everyone treats themselves with mutual respect and is being open to suggestions and building on it.

Especially the instructors are giving their students enough space (to speak/express themselves) so that you get a whole lot of different approaches to one project/problem and everyone gets involved.

Encouraging people might be the most important issue regarding facilitating, teamwork and learning because besides including everyone, you might get some new insights  about a certain topic.

So generally for facilitating ones learnings everyone involved has to agree to some ground rules but most importantly has to keep an eye on group-dynamics and group-process.

So far our instructors have done a great job on facilitating our learnings because it obviously was a hard task for us students to overcome in the first weeks without knowing each other. Basically they have set the ground-rules and helped our group-dynamics evolve and now it is one us (since we don’t have ‘a facilitator’) to make our ‘work’ as efficient and progressive as possible while including/respecting everyone and discussing every possibility.

Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Project Community

Amazing week

Every day that is passing i like this program more and more. We just ended up the conversation with Nancy on Google Plus. Even i had some problems with my video and mic, i could listen and see everyone. It is so nice to know that there are person who help you and give feedback on what are you doing in order to succeed in the end.

Beside today, the entire IDE program is spectacular. Nice projects and great class mates. There are so many things to do, but at least the only thing that matters is that everyone is involved and you are working with pleasure. No stress and no angry persons:))

Being new and still learning about all these, it is fascinating how many people want to help you and provide you information. I don’t think that it was a minute for me not feeling like i belong in this class. WOW.

I don’t know how many of you have experienced other programs or other universities, but here is the only place where i found so many nice persons and great programs.

There are not many students who can’t wait to go everyday at uni, but for me this is a feeling i am experimenting everyday.

thank you everyone for the help you gave me. it meant a lot to me!!!

xx

Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Reflections

Personal Blog Reflection Prompt #4

How much does your personal preference drive your tool choices? What if everyone else in your group had different preferences? How would you proceed as you steward the technology? Does looking at others’ preferences and perspectives change your view as a tech steward? Challenge you?

When I am working on my own I obviously choose tools according to my personal preferences while when I have to choose tools to work with in a group I try to stay as objective as possible to choose the right set of tools.

I mean what I or anyone prefers might not be most suitable to the community.

I as a technology steward would have many different prepared sets of tools for different approaches to different kinds of communities which all could be changed according to preferences of others.

Since I would have a group to work with and I am not the only one affected by my decision I would collect all the preferences of each group member and compare them to the prepared sets to combine it to a concept covers every need of every group member as good and effectively as possible.

In the end everyone has to work with the same tools so it is best to cover as many preferences as you can.

I would be open to any recommendation by anyone about maybe some better/more effective tools and always judge by user-friendliness, capability and in favor of the majority.

Simply a democratic approach because I wouldn’t want to oppress people with my way of thinking and it would disturb the working atmosphere.

Nobody’s perfect.. that’s why we work in teams!

Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Project Community

My toolbox

My personal preferences concerning tool choices are different when it comes to my personal life than when it comes to my projects and teamwork. In teamwork I find it very important for everything to be documented. There needs to be a space where everything is and where all team members can have access to it and give their opinion or feedback. That’s why in many of my projects, my team used Facebook. It’s a place where you can create a group page and share all the files on which people can comment because it’s Facebook and there are comment sections everywhere. So I believe the file sharing ability and the comment sections are important tools when it comes to teamwork. I also think that constant communication should be available, I’ve had great experience with chat and IM for that, mainly phone applications like Watsapp have almost become crucial for me in order to keep in contact without having to call constantly. I also consider myself a bit of a control freak, which is why tools such as calendars, organization tools and categories are very important to me. I like things to be organized.

I believe that when it comes to online spaces, there is always one or two that meets everyone’s requirements.  So if everyone wanted something different, we would hunt for a space where everyone’s preferred functions would be available. There should always be a way to make some sort of compromise to keep everything organized and everyone content. I think that as a leader it’s important to listen to others and keep an open mind because in many cases someone might have a better idea than you. The problem with tools, just like phones and computers is that many people get accustomed to the tool that they use. For example I am very used to using Dropbox which is a program on which people can very easily share files. I was recently introduced to Google plus and as open minded as I am it is still difficult for me to make the transition. Some people don’t even bother, they are afraid to step out of their comfort zone and usually keep using the same things even though there’s a large chance that there’s a much easier availability. I always want to discover and explore new tools and learn new things and I will never be someone that says I know everything because I know I don’t. especially when it comes to technology and the abilities we have, it’s starting to become clearer that there is no, none will there ever be, a limit. 

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Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Deyna's

Spidergram of OpenIDEO



Spidergram of OpenIDEO

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Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Bart Hoekstra's Tumbleblog

PERSONAL BLOG REFLECTION PROMPT #4

How much does your personal preference drive your tool choices? What if everyone else in your group had different preferences? How would you proceed as you steward the technology? Does looking at others’ preferences and perspectives change your view as a tech steward? Challenge you?

My personal preferences and tastes affect a lot on my choice of tools. It is like that mainly because I am still in a new environment so I count most of all on my own preferences. Of course it is an inevitable issue that each and every person in my group has different views, ideas and perspectives that i have to deal with, but is not always that they change my own views. I am glad in fact that I have the chance to deal with different types of people’s opinions, it allows me to see things differently, from each and every angle. Other’s people opinion matters sometimes, but it challenges every time. If a person’s perspective makes me change my view than he did his job well. It is just like everyday occasional experience every person is confronted by. One can never be left alone with his opinion without it being influenced by something. It could be the media, friends, family, tech stewards. But it is important indeed, without them we cannot shape the world and see it from different perspectives. Otherwise it would be too boring. Either way one should stick to his own shoes. 



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Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Alex Peykov's Tumbleblog
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