It was with great trepidation that I visited Sprite’s Site. Last year Sprite set up an elaborate April Fools Day trick. She claimed that she could escape from her blog world and return to it and that other people would be able to get into her blog world by the same entrance.
I had been reading about all the brilliant April Fools Day tricks played by Google at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google’s_hoaxes and trying to devise a trick to play on Sprite. And I wondered whether she would try to better last year’s effort.
This year, however, all I found was the table set with mango fool and raspberry fool for the #gtstoogies supper, Sprite’s soft toys, Penguin and Panda, and Emotional Dabrowski.
As Sprite’s Site is a nominated blog for Sydney Writers’ Centre Best Australian Blogs 2011, I told Sprite that we needed to spruce up the blog so that it will be ready for the judges and the people who want to vote in the Peoples Choice section to view.
I suggested that she should start with her room or maybe follow the guidelines in the Clean Up Australia Day booklet; but she thought we should just add some Spruce trees to the site and get all the characters to take a bath!
She said her contribution would be to groom Ginger Pony.
She arranged for the Paws for Poise Mobile Cyber Dog Grooming Parlour bus to come; so that the Dabrowski dogs could be spruced up. P’est Pour Parfait, the perfectionist poodle, arrived with the van. Apparently he has become the PR rep for Paws for Poise.
The Twitter birds enjoyed splashing in the bird bath while Arachnid set about repairing broken links on the website and talked earnestly about tags and widgets and other improvements that could be added.
Sprite organized the mice, Oliver MoreMouse and Hieronymouse Bosh, to scrub and repaint The Memory Elephant. I told her that she should be the one responsible for the maintenance of her Memory Elephant!
Posts that are particularly representative of the style and content of Sprite’s Site are
12 Days of Christmas gifts from Sprite’s Site 12
Beyond our Ken 2 Sprite tries to fathom the nature of creativity Part 2
Review of the March for the Tree Octopus
Sprite and I would love it if you could visit these posts and maybe even leave a comment.
The #gtstoogies are celebrating the changing of the seasons this week with a BBQ just as they did in September last year.
The Topiary Tessellation Bird Leaf Tree for all seasons has been brought out again and Jen E Wren is discussing the opening of Australian Rules Football season with Magpie.
Native American Indian Dog is paying a return visit to his good friend Intellectual Dabrowski. Australian Cattle Dog is again drawn by the wonderful aromas wafting from the BBQ and Imaginational Dabrowski is thinking about how the Australians are having Autumn leaves at the same time as the Americans are having Spring blossoms and new leaves and how good BBQ food tastes in either season. There is no explanation for the appearance of the extra spring thoughts; except that Imaginational Dabrowski loves the promise and rebirth of Spring and that it helped to balance the picture when it was reversed, because the table refused to be moved to the other side of the picture!
Having created mindmaps in iMindMap and Spicynodes and drawn up a Venn diagram with the results for addressing the problem ‘How to improve SerendipEd and attract more attendees’ I have now drawn up another mindmap using iMindMap to chart possible methods of promotion for SerendipEd webinars.
Serendipity and Fine Focus webinars are ideal opportunities for educators to share their knowledge and experience the sort of informal professional development that happens when people get together and network.
Those who would benefit most from attending are teachers from every education level and all curriculum areas, student teachers and those seeking additional PD.
The places that they would be made aware of the existence of the excellent webinars are via Twitter, blogs and websites, webinars, lists of resources and personal recommendations.
There seem to be formal and informal options for promotion of the webinars, InReal Life and virtual methods of promotion and real and virtual incentives.
As you can see there are several unlabelled branches on the map. These have been left without labels so that additional ideas can be added. What other suggestions could be added?
After considering the two mind maps I made on the topic Attracting More Participants to SerendipEd I came to the conclusion that the SerendipEd webinars are well named. Jo Hart has often said that attendence numbers vary with the time of year (class times, holidays, daylight savings time etc).
By making a Venn diagram based on the mind map which was made with iMindMap we can see that the participants come from the fortunate group who have reason, incentive and most importantly available time to attend.
So to answer the question ‘What can be done to attract more participants to SerendipEd webinars?’ we need to look at what can be done to enlarge the areas of overlap especially the vital centre section of full congruence which I have shaded in violet because that felt like a serendipitous sort of colour!
I know that Jo Hart is doing these things already
To address the question of most suitable times
(i) Check comparative times with Time and Date World Clock Meeting Calendar http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html
(ii)check for clashes with other edchats and webinars eg Cybraryman’s list of Education chats on Twitter http://www.cybraryman.com/chats.html
(iii) conduct a poll
To address the question of reasons and what else could be offered
(i) Ask for input This already happens with the Wallwisher where topics can be requested http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/EdublogsSerendipity
To address the question of Incentive we need to consider that motivation can be intrisic or extrinsic See RSA Animate
Drive the surprising truth about what motivates us
adapted from Dan Pink’s address
Most of the Incentives listed on the iMindMap are intrinsic motivators.
Are some concrete external motivators needed to attract participants?
Would making the webinars constitute part of training courses be an option?
This would lead to a whole extra set of questions in regard to certification and funding sources and time required and whether, if the webinars were completely formalised, they would still retain their Serendipitous nature. Another aspect of Attracting More Participants is spreading the word or advertising and that is another whole topic of discussion.
I have made a slightly amplified version of the Attracting More Participants to SerendipEd mindmap
using Spicynodes http://www.spicynodes.org/index.html
My map is at http://www.spicynodes.org/a/eb5a93fefe55acbfe54dc760632df638?sms_ss=email&at_xt=4d859b20be484fca%2C0
Spicy Nodes is described on their website as
‘SpicyNodes is a way to visualize online information that mimics that way that people look for things in the real world. Bits of information — such as text, links, photos, and other media — are placed into “nodes,” which are then linked together in an appealing interface that invites exploration. SpicyNodes can be used for everything from mind maps and content portals to organizational charts and lesson plans.’
I found it an easy program to use which an gave attractive fluid action result. Here are some screen shots