Maggy Beukes-Amiss on Facilitating Learning Online

This week kicks off e/merge 12, a mostly-online gathering of people who are interested in elearning in Africa. I’m pleased to be moderating a workshop this week exploring changes in online facilitation with four great facilitators. Here is the description. But read on below the quote  for a sneak listen to one of our guests, Maggy Beukes-Amiss from the University of Namibia.

Facilitation of online learning is now into its fifth decade. The familiar web based online  learning environments have only existed since the mid 1990s. Since then we’ve seen radical changes in the technology, pedagogy and range of practices. The boundaries are shifting from closed classrooms, communities and password protected learning management systems to open and networked configurations. So where are we now? We’ll engage in conversation with four experienced facilitators of online learning to hear what they are thinking, and then engage everyone in reflecting on your practices.

Joining us are Maggy Beukes-Amiss, a veteran Namibian online facilitator and trainer of online and blended educators,  Nellie Deutsch, who is an English teacher and an expert in online facilitation, blended online learning, social networking and open education, Gerrit Wissing, a highly experienced instructional designer and trainer of online facilitators, Tony Carr who is an educational technologist and periodic organiser of online conferences, and moderator Nancy White, one of the early explorers of online facilitation.

Maggy Beukes-Amiss: Maggy has been teaching ICT related subjects at the U. of Namibia for over 17 years, including in leadership positions. She has a passion for open source software packages and elearning activities. As a champion for capacity building, we’ll be asking Maggy what her key insights and learnings have been.

Dr. Nellie Deutsch :  Nellie has been teaching English to speakers of other languages since the mid 70s and integrating technology into her classes since the mid 90s. She uses relationship-based, collaborative action learning in facilitating online learning. We’ll be asking Nellie to tell us more about HOW she does this!

Gerrit Wissing: Gerrit is a Senior Instructional Designer at Tshwane University of Technology but also has lived experience in the corporate world as well. He knows the software, he knows the social process side. More importantly, he’s been co facilitating UCT’s Facilitating Online course and e/merge itself, so Gerrit is in the trenches. We’ll be asking Gerrit to share a bit about what he’s learned across all these contexts.

Tony Carr: Tony is an educational technologist, online facilitator and online conference organiser at the Centre for Educational Technology,University of Cape Town. Most of his day to day work is in staff development for teaching with technology. We’ll be asking Tony to share about the opportunities for online communities of practice.

Nancy White: Nancy was one of those people who fell into online interaction in the early days of the web and sought to understand how it related to her offline experiences. She wrote some of the early guidance so we’ll be interested to find out what she thinks is the same today, and what has changed.

Our ending… or really our beginning question will be “what’s next for us as online facilitators?” Have you thought about that? We hope you have and will join us!

Maggy Beukes-Amiss  is on leave this week so I was able to interview here in advance. It was terrific to hear about her practice at the University of Namibia. Her passion is infectious. Her main thrust was that our attitudes are an incredibly important part of our practice. Take a listen:

Part 1 and Part 2

Podsafe music courtesy of Tchakare Kanyembe  Thanks!

Connected, Distracted, and Waving

It is 6am in Cape Town, South Africa, where I am typing in the dark, with the glow of my little laptop, preparing for two workshops today at the University of Cape Town. My amazing host, Tony Carr, invited over a few friends and colleagues for dinner last night. They inspired me to rethink today’s workshops, so I’m up early to prepare. I had to grab a link from my blog and realized that I had ignored it lately (last post: May 3) so it felt worth a quick “check in.”

A week and a half ago I spent a fantastic four days in Vancouver BC for the BC Campus/SCoPE “Online Community Enthusiasts” gathering (#OCE2010) and then my beloved NorthernVoice 2010. I hung out with old and new friends, did a fun little workshop, and then hopped the train back south to Seattle, spent a day at home only to turn around and head to South Africa. (Contextual photos here.)

Here I have given talks, facilitated workshops on Community Technology Stewardship at CSIR on Pretoria, the workshops here in Cape Town and then I’ll be on to Durban for the IST Conference.

Yes, I should link to all these people and events, but I had this urge to simply connect, confess my distraction and wave. So here I am, waving to you!