Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Welcome to the latest version of the TESOL pp107 Multiliteracies course

The TESOL Principles of Online Teaching PPOT 107 2010 session on Multiliteracies for Social Networking and Collaborative Learning Environments takes place from September 6 to October 3, 2010

This course is part of TESOL's Principles and Practices of Online Teaching Certificate Program; see The course has fee paying participants but in such cases I focus on them while inviting the network of past participants who have taken previous TESOL or EVO Multiliteracies courses to join us if they wish.  In networked learning, it takes a network! (at least a personal one, or PLN). So if you are reading this message you are welcome to participate.

The central URL for the course is at, but we are carrying out conversations at and

We have a calendar of events with events we have arranged for this course, especially our noon Sunday GMT sessions at We are also arranging events for 13:00 GMT in various presentation venues each Sunday.  You can find the calendar at and note that it includes events from this Calendar as well,, which is in turn a mashup of calendars from other communities actively producing webcasts and podcasts keeping conversations going around topics of interest to 21st century educators (these are listed and color coded at the Classroom 2.0 site. What I did was I got the embed code for that, figured out what line of code aggregates each part of
it, and then added a line for the calendar in my account when I got ITS embed code so the result was their calendar plus mine in one embedded object. I added pp107 in front of all the items I've put in the calendar so you can tell which are for the Multiliteracies course. At the moment it's noon and 13:00 GMT each Sunday and one other event at 11:00 GMT Sept 15. There will be more.

Now you might wonder why include the other calendars? That's because it's a berry bush full of berries. When offered a berry bush we can choose the berries we want to try and maybe some of us go there. If I gave you only events that I think you should see, that would be a conduit: today we do this at this time,
and next day that at that time. I prefer the berry bush as a metaphor for setting out learning activities, you choose from a menu.

This post began as a stub to see if I could get one of its tags, evomlit10, to show up at  Tweets containing #evomlit10 show up immediately, but YahooGroup/Grouply posts and pictures on Flickr took hours to appear.  The Flickr photos tagged evomlit10 eventually appeared at as well.  So far this tagged blog post has not appeared at Spezify, nor have any of my delicious bookmarks, all tagged evomlit10.  Oh well, go figgah!

Meanwhile, here are some thoughts on my philosophy for this course:

Networked learning

Personally I like the network aspect. We haven't seen people from previous courses post here yet, but I'm sure they are lurking. We've had a number of people not enrolled in the TESOL course join both our YGroup and Ning just before the course started, so again I like the public aspect and the potential for wider perspective. All are welcome to contribute constructively.

Berry bush vs. Conduit metaphor for course delivery and access

I first read about the berry bush / conduit dichotomy in a work by Scallon and Scallon that I cited in my MA thesis in the very early 80s.  A conduit is a linear progression of learning benchmarks, as would be presented in a book or on cassette tape; whereas the availability of random access via computers was opening up the possibility at the time of learning being accessed via a menu of choices, as one would pick berries from a bush, going for the most succulent and accessible (watch for thorns!) morsels.

With this in mind, the readings and media files at Goodbye Gutenberg are all suggested for you but you don't have to do them all or in any order. You can treat those as berries on a bush too. If I set up a conduit
(now we do this, next that, then this) it gets a bit teacher directed. I realize some people are most comfortable with this and others are UNcomfortable if NOT this, but at least if we set up the items as a berry bush, the LEARNERS determine direction.

Someone asked about a Common Area for our course.  I replied, think of a university campus, some might choose the TV room in the dorm, others might hang out at the campus center, others might frequent the pub down the road, many might be found in all these places. Plus you have your cell phone; I guess on the Internet that would be the trail of tagged artifacts you leave online. We might find you through your postings to one of our common areas, or through the spaces you tag. It's a berry bush, we'll look for you in the bushes. You'll find others there. One of the things we'll learn in this course is how this works. 

ePortfolio assessment

I expect each participant in the course to have an ePortfolio. This could be a blog where participants could  link to other spaces in their sidebars, as I do at this blog The ePortfolio I have in mind could resemble a table of contents, of which participant blogs would be but one entry.

To create an ePortfolio  table of contents, one way would be to open a Google Doc and keep a list of links to accomplishments in this course (and Publish it and share the link with us). Or create a Wiki with the same effect, or even a Delicious URL that points to all the items you had tagged 'pp107eporfolio-me' for example. Items pointed to could include your blog, your tagged URLs for the course at your delicious or Diigo account (as another example),and it could include also the URLs of any blog posts you had created at our Ning, as each post should be accessible via its URL on the Internet.

Basically it's somewhere the rest of us can go to see what you've been doing in the course. I might go there in the first week in October to decide who deserves credit in the course. I would think that anyone who had an ePortfolio linking to a reasonable number of artifacts documenting reflection on the course topics, and who had interacted with others during the 4 weeks of the course, would deserve credit for having learned something during our time together, as demonstrated in the ePortfolio.

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