How can I make my online delivery more engaging?

via How can I make my online delivery more engaging?

TLC BannerI just took part in this fab webinar today by the folks at Teaching and Learning Conversation #TLCwebinars – Matthew Thorpe @mattthorpey86 and Steve Williams @ste_3po – really, really enjoyed it…  there is always something new to learn isn’t there!

Really happy to see some familiar names on the participant list and its always good to make some new friends .. Matthew and Steve did such a good job of facilitating the session with about 60 participants … it used Adobe Connect which is something I have used before but not used the breakout group function so it was  really helpful.  I loved the slides that they used – sort of reminded me of comic book super hero type stuff ….



Use of External Tools within the Webinar

Matt and Steve used Mentimeter to get us to contribute to producing a word cloud of words that indicate how useful webinars can be. I’ve seen Mentimeter before but in a conference and workshop setting – I thought it was so cool to use it in a webinar format. I shall be trying that out! They also used the screen share facility to show Tweetdeck of the #tlcwebinar tweets so that was a really useful tip.

Results of the mentimeter on webinar delivery

The participants also shared loads of good ideas in the chat so hopefully, that will be captured too – I will go back through it when it is released and see if I can pick out one or two ideas to share more widely in case people don’t have the time to watch the whole webinar …

Breakout Group Activity

The breakout group activity we were given split us randomly into groups and then we had to draw an animal and then guess what it was and then share this back to the main group for everyone to guess. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t read the instructions properly and just got carried away with scribbling … (seemingly others actually managed to do the task properly though )

Funnily enough this served as a useful reminder that you need to be really clear when giving instructions ( as mentioned by Rod) and that it might be a good idea to keep the instructions in view when you move into groups – just in case people like me try and ignore them in over excitement to start using the whiteboard !

There were some great artistic fishes, cats, mice and cows being shared and quite a few combinations of animals …   I can lay claim to the weird looking Bumble Bee and the Grumpy Cat

I loved some of the descriptions that people came up with – I think my favourites were ‘Dwabbit’ from Lee Fallin and ‘Confused Bunny’ from Kate W … well it made me laugh anyway …

I’m really interested in how to use breakout group facilities as it’s something I have only dabbled with briefly so always on the lookout for more info!   We are about to pilot  Blackboard Collaborate at Swansea so am on the hunt for best practice …  If you have used breakout groups using webinar software please do get in touch!

Update : Webinar Recording

Here is the link to the webinar recording 

Contribute to a TLC Conversation

Oh and I seemed to have volunteered myself and the lovely Emma Gillespie to do a future TLC Webinar – maybe using Flipgrid which I am super keen to experiment with … how cool is that !

If you want to contribute to a TLC Conversation you can put forward an idea here …





#ALTC 2018 Debs Adventures Part 1

So this might actually be a record of me attempting to do a blog post within a couple of days of returning from the ALTC conference … I always have the intention of doing it but somehow I always get sidetracked .. anyhow, in the hope that this post actually gets finished I shall crack on as they say..


This years conference was a special one, the 25th anniversary to be precise. There were even cakes, both edible varieties and even really cool virtual ones courtesy of the fabulous Bryan Matthers, who despite not being in actual physical attendance at the conference was ever present where ever I went.   I was lucky enough to be able to attend for the full three days. It was a real packed programme and it was so difficult to try and select which of the sessions that I would go to. I’m sure I missed some absolute gems in terms of sessions but here are some of the highlights of the sessions that I did go to and some other fabulous experiences that were had along the way.

The Journey

I went up to Manchester by train and was accompanied by my new colleague Luke, who I have to say spent most of the journey looking after me and trying to avoid my usual travelling mishaps like spilling my coffee everywhere. My other colleague Chris Jobling very sensibly opted for a different train !
Throughout the journey the usual pre conference twitter exchanges were in full swing. This even included an impromptu Snapchat tutorial (through the medium of Snapchat) with my buddy Suzanne Faulkner. Chaos ensued as we attempted to snap our way through the various functions of adding bunny ears and sparkly unicorn horns. It was a giggle … there may even be a repeat attempt at some point .. watch this space. (I can feel my two children cringing from here ..) If you are interested in finding out more about snapchat in the meantime, check out Suzy’s video here ..
As it turned out Suzy, Luke and I were all at the same hotel, there were lots of minions, umbrellas and weather maps involved …
And that was all before the conference actually started !

Day One

The event itself kicked off with a brilliant keynote from Tressie MacMillan Cottom, you can watch it here.  I was blown away by Tressie, both in terms of the content but also in the delivery of her talk. It was so warm and heartfelt and she talked a lot about collaboration and connecting with each other which ticked so many boxes for me. She outlined that ‘Context’ matters in terms of that fact that we are shaped by who and where you are and that Learning Technologies ‘do not exist in a vacuum’ and that we should consider how best to open up the various spaces to make those connections in order to ‘make stuff happen’.  Here are my little scribbles of her talk, I’m sure I only touched the surface with my notes so I would encourage you to watch her talk. It’s fab.

Virtually Connecting

I took part in the Virtually Connecting session as an onsite guest on Day One where we shared what we were hoping to get out of this year’s #ALTC and got to meet some great virtual attendees from around the world.   You can watch the replay here if you are interested.
VC at #altc 2018v4