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Communications Group Meeting

Google Hangouts

Today a few of the VLNC met for a communications group meeting. It was a lesson in communication in itself to get us all working together in Google Hangouts - what a great collaborative, real time tool. At one stage we were running the meeting in both Hangouts, Docs & Adobe simultaneously as we ironed out some technical problems... As Darren noted it will be awesome when this is a tool that we can use with our students (currently it's limited to Google + with an R18 restriction)

Notes from our meeting are accessible here.

Key points from our meeting are: 

Learning Exchange - keep working with the development of this. There has been some frustration with this. It is our tool designed for the support of our community. If there is a feature we need, or a problem feedback straight away through the Help button at the bottom of the page. 

Central point for contacts on the VLNC - ask Glen to create a filtered system for downloading this as a spreadsheet so that eDeans & schools can have contact information at their fingertips. There is no need to create separate Google spreadsheets to keep updated when we have a system - make the Learning Exchange work for us. If we look to solutions outside of this then we are only making more work for ourselves and not developing a robust system that works well for us all.

Sharing Resources - VLNC google docs are working well for meetings & reports from the Community but what about all those other resources that clusters can share? Set up a repository page that links to where the clusters have their resource collections - we have begun this and would like to invite clusters to share links to their resources. Resources can also be shared through the resources feature on the VLN in this group and in the LCO Handbook.

COPs - we talked about promoting & developing these amongst eteachers and curricula/interest groups and will invite the community to discuss their ideas further to support this. 

Engaging the Community - we need to keep getting news about our activities out there in our own VLNC and the wider community. Please share! A short article, link to something topical, join in or start a discussion. We need people to actually write a few words from time to time. If we had some news coming through then we could periodically put together newsletters to our membership and to keep our profile up and out there. 

We are looking at how we can have notifications of activity on this VLNC group site to be published on the VLN listserv to keep the information stream flowing.

Your ideas and feedback are invited :-)


  • Carolyn Alexander-Bennett

    NEWSLETTER:  I like the idea of a newsletter once a term with each cluster contributing to.  What we have been doing this year for FarNet and HarbourNet is one of the three in our leadership team has the responsibility of setting the newsletter up as a shared document, but the other two are expected to proof it and to add a section to it.  Could we aim to have a newsletter set up with an area for each of the clusters to complete by a set date.

    COPS - I was waiting to hear about your discussion around the COPs, because I have a number of language teachers from our clusters who want to meet to share strategies for language acquisition in an online environment and I didn't want to go ahead and try to coordinate this with an invite to all language teachers if you have already set something up.  Are you happy if I go ahead and do this?

  • Rachel Whalley

    Hi Carolyn

    Great that you bring up COPs, if you dig down into the notes from our meeting - the next step was to engage the community in discussion about this - so you have taken the initiative on that.
    Absolutely - go ahead with coordinating this one, one of the challenges with everything we do is stepping up to do the work to get things going and moving them along. Things never happen by themselves, somebody needs to drive things.

    The next challenge though is to get potential COPs to be self directing without having to be continually organised. We put a lot of work into this a few years ago but I don't think any of those groups went onto do more under their own steam. Which is why some of our discussion was how to support existing COPs through the VLN & online environments, rather than setting up new COPs. Also to look at some of the great teachers and elearning leaders such as those coming through the VPLD and the role they can have in supporting and developing COPs.

    Newsletter - the idea behind asking for contributions to the VLNC blog, or even twitter feeds as discussed on the listserv lately, wasn't only that we could have a regular stream of news coming through but that we could also collate the information that has been shared through our network and disseminate more widely in a formal newsletter. I don't know that there is a need to set up a shared document and coconstruct a newsletter, but rather to have someone take responsibility once a term to collate the news (that we have already shared amongst ourselves) & write a brief editorial to go with it.

The VLN Community - Home of the Learning Communities Online (LCO)

The VLN Community - Home of the Learning Communities Online (LCO)

The Virtual Learning Network Community (VLNC) is a network of school clusters who collaborate to provide access to curriculum and learning opportunities for students through online learning.