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 2

A Brief Evaluation

Personally I feel that my group and I are behind schedule at the moment. However, after talking to the teachers I have realized that it is just my impatience to find information and create some results that’s causing my concern. It seems that we are right on track and that might be caused by the fact that I am this impatient to organize the project and keep my group members busy. I feel that it is very important to have these skills while working in a group. If every member was passive and not trying to push each other forward, then the group could easily fall behind on the progress needed.

As a whole I think that the entire group is up to date on all the findings about our project so far. I keep reminding them to read up on everyone’s writings. If a group member doesn’t take my advice into account, then it’s up to that person to update him or herself. I might be the team leader, but I’m nobody’s mother. I would say that I’m as informed about our project as I can be at the moment. We cannot move forward till we have received more information from the teachers side, which I’m assuming is part of their plan. I did think, that by now, I would have learned more, but perhaps this class isn’t quite as demanding as I thought it would be. Which is something I have heard from several different classmates.

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Posted in All Students, Group 2, Support Raising
This was originally published at THE GREAT DANE

Blog Reflection: Week 6

I think so far I have contributed a solid amount to my team’s project. I have attended every class so far, and I feel like in every class our group gets a lot done. I think I make contributions in class time by actively participating in our discussions, giving feedback and opinions, and working together with the group on what needs to be done for our project. Outside of the class time I contribute to my team by commenting on their blog posts every week to give feedback, and by also doing my assigned work. This was actually difficult at first without having a clear end goal, but as the end goal has gotten more clear I have found it easier to contribute more to the project outside of class time. A few weeks ago I was in charge of researching the website Kiva.org, and I made a word document containing a summary of what the website is about, and how it works. This is probably my most tangible contribution up until this point. In the coming weeks one of my tasks is to help summarize our theory of change for our NGO, this will be my next tangible contribution. As far as intangible contributions, I will brain storm how our team can create/share our final product in 8 minutes or less, and what tools we can use to do this. 

I think the best way to evaluate my learnings so far is my application of them in the group work. Everything I have learned in the lectures I have been able to apply in the group, especially in terms of the online networking and platforms, and online facilitation. Our group has done a large portion of our work on the online platforms, and we have learned a lot about how to use these in the lecture. I think this is also a good way to evaluate the group’s learnings as a whole. Our learning is pretty clear to see as a group, because every week we have a clearer picture of what we need to do, and our work output increasing week by week has demonstrated our learning every week. As far as the class’s learning I think it is actually quite difficult to assess, but in my opinion it is easiest to assess the learning in the class’s use of the online platforms. In a previous class each group did some presentations on what they had been doing, and I thought this was a nice overview of the class’s learnings. As well as this, the spider diagrams which were drawn on the whiteboard in the classroom were also a good evaluation of what the class has learned so far and how they are applying it. 


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Posted in All Students, Group 2, Support Raising
This was originally published at Sylv!e C.

Contribution to the team :P

So far everything is working out perfectly for us ! We are focused on our work and we do what we have to do. I believe we are one of the groups which is quite ahead from the others but somehow we don’t actually feel it that way. The reason is that simply everybody adds something little everytime to the general “big” idea. But if you look at it it’s surely that we are quite ahead.

Our first individual work was quite tricky. Everybody was given a task to research something and everybody did their work splendid. I was given a task to see is Indiegogo a user-friendly site and what’s this site about in general. Also everytime every single member of the team “shoot out” and idea and we immediately put it to use. Since our individual work we were simply discussing ideas and this week each of us was given something to do. So me, Bonne and Sylvie have to discuss and form the theory for the NGO.

So far I’ve been drastically improving my skills - both in English and teamworking. Same goes for drawing but there it’s much left to be desired but we will get there ! I just want to pass the class. Nothing more and nothing less !

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Posted in All Students, Group 2, Support Raising
This was originally published at ItSkO

Facilitation of new ideas and group dynamics.

The largest difference between the teachers and students teaching me is that while the teachers explain and facilitate the pure learning experience, my peers allow me to make use of this learning. The lectures are quite interesting and allow the introduction of new ideas, this helps build a base of what my knowledge is. My interaction with the other students is a key part of my learning experience. The ability to exchange ideas and thoughts and get direct feedback is a form of learning that I hold to the highest regard. But having teachers there to coach and guide us through more difficult problems is quite a feat in its self. Probably the most useful way that we have learned is through our small talks with Nancy. She has cleared up many issues that we have had and gave very direct answers that we have been looking for. Thumbs up for that! Losing a group member has been quite a change for us as we have had to divide research and even though it has been a little tougher at times, we have compensated eloquently. This said, our group is not without its problems. Something that I would love to have within the group is a better group environment and dynamics. Being people from vastly different cultures and places gives our group a very strong multinational base but also adds tension to the mix. This could be one of our strong selling points towards customers and it is being squalled by group conflict. I feel that I try to always stir up ideas, where we try to look at them from a different point of view. A different perspective while problem solving helps to stir up and can lead to really innovative ideas and allows for quick response to changes in our group dynamic and the problem at hand. 

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Posted in All Students, Group 2, Support Raising
This was originally published at Expert Innovation

Facilitation of Learning

To begin with I wasn’t looking forward to the idea of project community’s however I have warmed up to it, I have enjoyed researching into how online communities can be used to fund projects, I have especially enjoyed looking into the field of crowed funding; in a time of economic hard ship I believe crowd funding could provide an alternative means of investment to start up business, I am currently investigating indigo go to launch a new venture. It has been an interesting experience having a teacher based in the US and to be communicating with her via Skye/Google hangouts.

I feel that the group and project are now beginning to pick up speed, although this could have happened earlier on if the instructions had been a little clearer. In the future I hope we will be able to learn using clear tasks and most importantly to me end goal.

When it comes to me facilitating learning for others obviously I cannot directly facilitate the learning of others because I too am learning about the topic, however what I can do is create a good working environment for others by creating group discussions and offering my opinion whether it is conflicting or in agreement. If everyone actively contributes to the group we can all facilitate each other’s learning.

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Posted in All Students, Group 2, Support Raising
This was originally published at Innovation Engineering

Facillitation

So far I have been pleased with this program and feel that the class and I has already made some progress. This progress has been possible because of the resources and knowledge that our teachers have shared with us. Every week we have had the opportunity to explore the web on our own, we have made new discoveries about how online communities work and how to best communicate with others. All with the assistance of our teachers. The most unusual feature of this class is also the fact that one of our teachers is sitting halfway around the world and goes online every week to connect with us and guide us in our project. She has also given us some new online experiences by pushing us into trying new online sites and communication tools.

The main issue I have had until now has been the vague assignments in this project. We have been allowed to go exploring online on our own, but this has caused us to not get a real sense of the purpose of the project. When we tried to ask specific questions about the end result of our assignments, we have been met with answer that didn’t make the project any clearer and mainly left us more confused and in the dark than before. It wasn’t until this week, when we had our group meeting with Nancy White on Google Hangout, that the purpose was finally made clear for us. Nancy was able to give us concrete answer about what we are supposed to get out of this course. Because of this helpful meeting we are now more aware of what we need to do.

Because this epiphany about our purpose came so late in this course, we now need to make sure that we stay on track with our project, so that we don’t fall behind. In my group we have a tendency to get extremely of topic and loose track of the assignment in front of us. I will therefore have to be a bit more strict when it comes to our teamwork, simply because we have to get a bit more focused and concentrate on creating results.

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Posted in All Students, Group 2, Support Raising
This was originally published at THE GREAT DANE

Western civilizati….Wait what ?

At first when we started working in groups I was shocked… But after a week or two I realised that this is quite the opportunity. At first it seems strange working in multicultural environment but after some time you start using this as your advantage - both for you and the group. Right now we are in week 5 and so far so good. We have our disagreements but it all comes down to where everybody comes from. Sometimes I want to hit somebody but this is more like Personal Branding. But I’ve learned that teamwork is important and they are helping me to adjust to the Western world. Of course lets not forget the teachers. They are always helpful and ready to speak with you if you have some kind of problem. Also the teachers are also multicultural which is qute nice. In that way we can improve our work because every teacher will say something about their coutry and we can put this in use in our projects - making them better. We facilitate the work process by collaborating with our community. And then we put the knowledge into doing out projects better every single time. It’s quite useful and I am keen to improve it a bit futher.

I would certainly like to improve my English - Coming from Bulgaria means having typical Eastern accent and most western people are not used to it. Also it’s normal for bulgarians to talk fast - of course I talk fast and sometimes this is quite the problem. Thats why sometimes I remain silent because many people won’t understand me. But after coming to the university and with the help of my friends from the course (not from my group) I learned to speak little bit slower and I think I fixed a little bit my accent so I am greatful to them. As for the study teachers should lay their steam off…. I mean seriously!! Couple of days ago I made a joke and nobody understand it and they simply called it stupid O_O. In my country is typical to have jokes with the teachers to lay off the steam and they do it too. So it’s not something which is bad. Sometimes I just don’t understand the western world. It’s so strange to me. If you look at the laws in the Netherlands and the teachers (well some of them, not all) it’s like we are back in the Soviet Union….I am not kidding and I am 100 % serious !

Reading my friends blogs it’s quite useful because sometimes you can “steal” ideas and modify them to fit you. After all we should help each other because some of us will be 3 years together :). Aside for that everything seems ok for now and to tell the truth I am very home sick…. It’s my very first time being abroad and I miss my country every day. Usually the pain becames smaller with time passing but mine is only growing… I try not to think alot but right now it’s almost impossible :D. At least I try to make stupid jokes from time to time to cheer myself and my friends. I think I will adjust rather quickly to the western world as soon as I find some good friends :)

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Posted in All Students, Group 2, Support Raising
This was originally published at ItSkO

Personal Blog Reflection: Week 5

I believe both my instructors and my peers play a huge role in facilitating my learning at the university. I have actually been amazed in the ways the instructors have created learning opportunities within the project communities class. Learning in this class has been facilitated through organization of online interactions consisting of google hangouts, skype, and facebook, and by using these tools in action learning experiments. I think the important thing the instructors are doing here, is allowing us as students to have the freedom to explore and discover the web on our own terms, within our groups. Because we can do this in groups during class time, it has facilitated learning to work in teams, and how teams can work independently towards a goal. This has definitely opened my eyes in the ways that different platforms can be used as well. One of the things I find very awesome, is that one of our instructors is living in the United States! Yet she facilitates our learning by logging onto skype every week and talking with us, as well as communicating with us in various other ways. This can be by posting in the facebook group, or sending us links, or any other method of online communication! Through doing this, we have access to an individual who can share a huge amount of her knowledge with us, and we do not even have to be in the same country! That is true facilitation of learning. 

As far as learning from my peers, they can be just as useful in facilitation of learning. I find this to be especially true via the facebook group. A lot of students tend to post interesting links and share their findings from the web on the facebook group, and this allows our entire class to have access to new knowledge and information. Furthermore, I know all my peers have different online preferences and knowledge about online tools/communities, and this has also been very useful. I am learning to use new tools that I have never used before from my peers, which I probably would never have used if they had not shown me how that tool works. 

It is hard to actually name some things that I would like to see and experience in the facilitation of this course, simply because I think the facilitation has been so fantastic so far. If I were to say anything, it would maybe be to have more facilitation that isn’t so self directed. When I say this I mean that a lot of the facilitation from instructors simply allows us to personally discover and learn, and although useful at times, it can also lead to a lot of confusion about the task at hand. So in this sense, I think that students may also benefit from more one on one facilitation from instructors, opposed to facilitation within the group. For example the other day our group had a google hangout session with Nancy, she did a great job at facilitating our learning by giving us clear instructions and feedback, and it didn’t hurt to get a more personal connection with her either :-) So I think some more of that would be GREAT! As for my peers, I would just say better communication at times between groups, and between group members, though Facebook is a useful tool at times, it can also be distracting and unclear, and sometimes not everyone is sure of what they need to do! 

What I can contribute as a peer facilitator in my opinion, is making sure to always ask questions, be involved, post frequently, and help spread any knowledge I have that is useful to other people in the course.


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Posted in All Students, Group 2, Support Raising
This was originally published at Sylv!e C.

Technology Steward

When it comes to my personal preference I am not that fussy, naturally I will tend to stick with what I use currently: Facebook and Google. But I am open to learning new platforms and other software’s although only when it is necessary, I am not a fan of continually upgrading my software and changing online platforms, why have the hassle of changing something when what I currently use for fills my needs.

A good example of this preference would be I have been using windows office 2003 for the past 9 years, because I didn’t like the interface 2007 and 2010 had to offer in addition to this I felt the software did not offer more functions for the money and hassles worth.

However recently Microsoft released office 365 2013, which I have been exploring and experimenting with for the past few weeks. Once it is fully released I will purchase it as the software has lots more to offer and makes complex functions straight forward in addition they have gone back to basics with the user interface and moved away from the apple like 2007 and 2010 interface.

Which leads me to my only set in stone personal preference which is Pc vs Mac.

 

Although I do use I tunes and believe it is a great innovation, along with the I phone, I disagree with the marketing hype that surrounds apple, they are overpriced the same money would buy you a far superior personal computer, which could also be upgraded and maintained on your own whereas a mac you would have to send it back to apple spending more money, time and resources  In addition I find the interface over the top and cluttered: I like clear structured lay outs. It’s for these reasons I will always choice a Pc over a Mac. Many people I work with currently use Macs and although you have your occasional disagreement about the computers, my personal preference remains unchanged, and so does theirs.

When it comes to stewarding the technology I use I will always happily demo straight and explain any software’s and platforms I know how to use, but only in person, I wouldn’t upload videos to YouTube.

My personal preference is always changing and looking at others preferences will influence my preference as I might learn a new function or discover a new software which I wish to further investigate I could potential also influence their preference by just letting them show/teach me.

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Posted in All Students, Group 2, Support Raising
This was originally published at Innovation Engineering

"I’m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms…"

“I’m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they’re interested in.”

- Bill Gates
Posted in All Students, Group 2, Support Raising
This was originally published at THE GREAT DANE