Sunday, 12 July 2015

A new open learning opportunity: FOS #FOS4L





I am very excited to share FOS4L which is a new 5-day open course on flexible, open and social learning for educators and professionals in higher education. It may also be of value for educators in FE and schools, and indeed students. Tomorrow is day one and the learning event takes place over one week.

Preparation for FOS 

It is such a pleasure to be working with Chriss Nerantzi yet again. Planning, new innovative ways that educators can engage in professional development has been so rewarding. Chrissi is the most creative and inspirational person I know and I have learned so much from her over the last few years. We seem to be able to spark ideas off each other, develop them and put them into practice. The creative orchestration of FOS is without doubt due to Chrissi's limitless ideas for new approaches and her playful approach to doing things differently.  

Much of our work is done remotely as we work and live in different cities. Through the use of Twitter, Skype, Google hangouts, Google docs and Dropbox we have found ways to work seamlessly. Sometimes this is in real time but often we have extended conversations, exchanging replies asynchronously. Our previous collaborations include Bring your own devices for learning (which runs again in January 2016 for the fourth time) and Learning and Teaching in Higher Education tweetchat (which starts again after the summer). The same approach was used to plan, implement and run these events. Having my own mobile devices (both a smartphone with 4G and mini iPad) make this process easier as I can utilise travelling time to catch up with messages, edit Google Docs or leave comments, and even set up a Skype or hangout conversation. I wonder now how I have ever managed without them! It really does continue to amaze me how much technology in the form of social tools has opened up new opportunities to connect and collaborate. Keeping in touch with other educators is so much easier now. Time and location is no longer an issue as we can interact when and where we wish to both synchronously and asynchronously. 

Being involved as both a facilitator and co-learner in these learning spaces has without doubt provided the most rewarding professional development. When opportunities to meet co-learners in person, our conversations naturally continue where we left off online. My personal learning network both on and offline is all the richer through developing these connections. 



FOS Learning

FOS will be using the 5C Framework created by Chrissi and myself which helps us to consider the ways we can connect, communicate, curate, collaborate and create. The first iteration of this course will run 13-17 July 2015 and is open to all educators. 

Social spaces

Twitter @FOS4L - Follow @FOS4L and #FOSchat

Google Community - join us here to get to know the community taking part in FOS

FOS for Learning site - a rich resource to build your learning experience


This latest endeavor could not happen without our supportive facilitators who are educators from other universities. A big thank you therefore goes to Neil Withnell,  Stephen Powell, Mike Nicholson, Stathis Konstantinidis, Deb Baff and Candace Nolan-Grant; plus Ellie Livermore who created the stop motion films and voice overs together with Sam Illingworth.  A special thank you to Whitney Kilgore for reviewing FOS and her very helpful feedback which has helped us make some final changes and corrections. 

Over the next week I will use this blog to reflect upon the FOS learning event both through the lens of a facilitator and also as a co-learner.  I hope you will join us. 

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