Pass it on

And then suddenly it happens… One colleague asks about how to use digital quizzes in the classroom… Kaboom! I´m pleased and beyond happiness. I gladly share the knowledge and experiences that I have with my colleague. So I thought, why not share it here too?!

Here´s how I do it… When lecturing nursing students in acid base balance, I start out with the commonly used (oh so boring…) power point presentation. I´ve really tried to make it appetizing with a good structure, fancy photos and everything, but still… it is what it is. After the initial feeling of being a “motivation butcher” (with the power point) I try to get the students back on track with some real life patient cases. Right now I have four of them, in accordance with the four disturbance of the acid base balance. Together we figure out which disturbance the patient have, relevant treatment and how to prevent it to occur. Last but not least… I end the hole lecture with a simple quiz. I tell the students that it is voluntary to participate and that they are free to go if they like. Stunningly, almost everyone willingly stay. I guess it has something to do with curiosity and an instinct to compete…? The tool I use for the purpose is nothing less then Kahoot. It is free and it is easy to use. You simply create an account and within 5-15 minutes you have done your first quiz. At first I had 20 multiple choice questions but that was too much, thus some students lost interest after approximately 10. Now I have 12 and I think that is a good quantity of questions. After each question Kahoot shows the correct answer and then top ten of fastest participant. As the quiz progresses the tension increases. At the end we have three winners. They all have to stand up and receive our tribute, consistent of applause, cheering, hugs and some silly prizes linked to acid base. Coca cola = acid, bicarbonate = base and SUPER-SOUR candy = containing an enormous amount of hydrogen ions.

This is higher education (undergraduate degree) and I am well aware of that this multiple choice quiz has nothing to do with critical thinking or research but I do believe it has something to do with motivation. I experience that the students do well on their assessment and they seem to remember the lecture as something good and joyful. I´m not sure they remember exactly how the kidney compensate for unprecedented levels of hydrogen ions but I believe that the students possess a basic understanding for acid base balance. When becoming nurses, most likely, they remember how to fill in the gaps of their knowledge, dependent on the current needs, and hopefully, still think of acid base as something understandable and engaging.

Photo: Kaboom by ballpit (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

New sensation

First of all I have to clarify that I´m alright, I´m actually fine. And with that statement I also would like to add a new sudden feeling of loneliness. One year ago I participated in the ONL161 together with Nour, Marc, Åsa, Jennifer and Alastair. Some weeks the struggle was real, especially when it came to find time for the studies. When completing the course I felt like I was on top of the world. I had a feeling of achievement, that I had accomplished something. Last term I was a co-facilitator in the ONL162. This term I am… nothing…

I´m the only one at my department that have participated in the ONL course. To be honest, I have a lack of companions and friendlessness at my department. No one to share the experience of ONL with. In order to take away this feeling, I guess I have a need for new strategies to keep in touch with my personal learning network. As a first step I have decided to be an open learner in the ONL171!

Photo: Loneliness by Paul (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Safe bubbles

Yesterday I experienced an adventure. For the first time ever, I had a 5 minutes long presentation in English, at the international conference EDEN. I was invited by Alastair Creelman, who hosted the workshop Collaborative literacy in staff development, to talk about my experiences of being a participant at the ONL course. This is what I said.

 

The workshop focused on virtual mobility and how staff can be prepared for this. Questions like -What barriers are there and how can we overcome them? and -How can we develop collaborative literacy in our staff? were discussed. We used a Padlet as a common pin board. Me and Francisca from Holland, who also participated in the ONL course, attended the workshop via Adobe connect. We had some difficulties to hear what the other participants were saying but it was a fun and challenging experience.

EDEN

One thing that we did hear was a participant who talked about how to prepare colleagues for virtual collaboration by creating safe bubbles. For most of us it is scary to go public, to be judged by others and to dare to take the step out of our comfort zones. Which could be a necessity to experience new things. If the gate to that experience can be opened in a safe and friendly community as the ONL course is I think that is great. I do believe that participation in the ONL course can open up new horizons for lecturers professional world. I hope that some of the participants at the workshop got inspired to try out the next ONL course. It is an experience you don’t want to miss!

Photo: Bubbles by Brandy Hollins (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Us vs. Them

It seems like I have a mission to complete. I promised to return with feedback from a meeting – and here it is. Earlier, in April, I wrote a blog post where I used the analogue of the three musketeers. I  contacted a colleges at another institution who is teaching the same topic as I am. My colleague agreed to meet me and to talk about collaboration.

The meeting started out with me explaining why I have made contact, what my purpose of the meeting was. I found myself arguing for not having any hidden agenda, just wanting to collaborate without any demands and expectations. A very strange way of making a case. I really do, have to improve myself in these situations in the future!

Anyway, my colleague is a clever guy, and he was able to filter my bad description of the intention to collaborate. We decided to 1) establish our initiative with our leaders, to 2) invite other colleagues to a physical meeting in some weeks and to 3) set up a group on Yammer, for digital everyday connection if needed, where we can share and collaborate.

Even though we are located on different floors, Us on 4th floor and Them on 5th floor, we do think, oddly enough, that we can collaborate and be the best colleagues ever. Although, we have an entire canal (1 floor/roof) dividing us in two, I prefer to see it as we share a whole canal (1 floor/roof) and that the “scaffolding” ought to make us stronger. May the force be with us!

Photo: http://www.pixabay.com

 

In love…!

I don´t know if it is the excitement of spring or something else but the feeling I have is pure, present and real. It is official now – I am in love!

In love with Coggle! Its usability goes beyond my wildest dreams of what a free mind map tool could be like. It is:

  • User-friendly
  • Aesthetic
  • Collaborative
  • Accessible
  • Did I say easy-to-use?

I have to restrain from using it too much. Or at least not bombarding my students with it. I could not help myself for telling them about my obsession. I told them they could easy collaborate with each other when studying for the exams (eh… lifetime). I will be seeing them in a couple of weeks from now and it will be exciting to hear about their experiences of mind mapping together. To wrap this up – Coggle has really lived up to my expectations. To be honest, I´m craving for the Awesome version!

Photo: Love by LongitudeLatitude (CC BY 2.0)

 

All good things (must) come to an end

First of all I would like to praise Cambridge Dictionaries Online and Google translate for an inexhaustible source of knowledge. Second, I would like to embrace all my group members for being such good friends throughout the whole course period and for making me feel comfortable and safe trying to speak and write in English. In ten fantastic couple of weeks I think I have went from crappy English to good enough English. Thank you PBL group 7!

Yep, so ONL161 has come to an end. It has been an enjoyable experience and some extremely intense weeks. I have loved every second about them but some days I have felt like a violin string due to stress. Just as excited like I was at the beginning of the course just as exhausted I am now at the end. Gosh, I have learned a lot!

I am home from work at 17.30-18. Then it is time to make dinner for the family and homework’s with the kids. Left of the evening is 1,5-2 hours. Twice a week we have had Skype meetings including work before and after. Furthermore, one or two evenings desperately trying to read the suggested articles/videos ect. At weekends trying to catch up what has been missing from last week… The course is far more time consuming then I even could imagine. With that said – the whole course is far more of everything then I could ever imagine!

I have learned to be social in a digital context, both in our great BIG community as well as in our small PBL community. I have made friends with – Beautiful and inspiring smart – Nour from Sudan, Marc – The gentleman – from South Africa, always  – Friendly Darth Wader – Jennifer and – The unforgettable Scottish – Mr Creelman.

I have started my own first blog – The fledglings thoughts – and I think that I have found my way of writing blog post just the way I am (the digital me). I have been practicing my critical thinking by commenting on others excellent blog posts. Learning about openness and sharing. I have participated in inspiring and thoughtful discussions in our PBL group.

There are so many thing that I take with me from this course. One thing that comes into my mind is the positive and sharing atmosphere that has been significant throughout the whole course. I will miss it! Last but not least I would like to thank the ONL-team for designing and facilitating best course ever.

Illustration: Kvinna i färg by Maja Larsson at Knyckenilluku.se

 

Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno

Like the three musketeers – one for all, all for one – we teachers can choose to stand together united and strong. I´m thinking of openness and sharing. What if we could share and how do we do it? We have discussed this in my PBL group at the ONL161 course. Our prominent facilitator Alastair Creelman told us about an exclusive fellowship for teachers. The leaders had made a clear and strategic decision about openness. Inclusion into the fellowship was equal to prestige and money. Membership required digital literacy, open to openness and a portfolio of resources shared with Creative Commons.

I talked to the professor at my faculty and YES we do have a policy to “go digital” but as I see it we have a long way to go. It is exciting, isn´t it? The future is ahead of us and we can create it together. I will hereby declare to work for more openness and I will try to be a good example for my colleagues. I have started by contacting a colleges at another institution who is teaching the same topic as I am. We will meet in a couple of weeks and talk about how we can collaborate. Luckily both of us can see benefits by working together. To be continued…

Photo: http://www.pixabay.com

 

The fledglings thoughts

If I´m doing this “Digital me-thing” I´m gonna do it to 100%. I´ve just made an investment in a 1 year domain address and I think I found me a name that describes my feeling – The thoughts of a fledgling. Ready or not hear I come…

Photo: Fledgling by USFWSmidwest (CC BY 2.0)

Already learning

Yep, so today I´ve learned that it is not OK to use a photo without permission. Well, actually I knew that but I thought that if I attributed to the website where I found the photo I was being a “good girl”. Nope, that´s not good enough. I´ve just created an account on  Flickr and look what I found! See if I done the contribution right this time? Have I?

Photo: Joy by David Hilgart (CC BY-SA 2.0)