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: