That Was The Week, That Was BYOD4L

So, BYOD4L is over and again it was a huge success.

This bite-size course runs over 5 days and focusses on the 5 C’s – Connecting, Communicating, Curating Collaborating, and Creating.

As a Qualified Nurse I am familiar with many C words as  the  three year vision and strategy for nursing, midwifery and care staff, (Compassion in Practice 2012) outlines 6 C’s, which are regarded as fundamental values. These 6 C’s are – Care, Compassion, Competence, Communication, Courage and Commitment.

Whilst the C’s are somewhat different (except for communication) I would argue that care, compassion, competence, courage and commitment are all needed to enjoy and  get the most from BYOD4L. Certainly as a facilitator I needed to take care (and care about others), be compassionate to others, try and show competence (though many participants were much more competent than I am), be courageous (in trying out new tools) and certainly a level of commitment.

Commitment was a challenge for me this time as I was unavailable for the first two days. I was trying to engage where I could but limited time did not help. I started on day 3 with enthusiasm and with an eagerness to catch up. The benefit of this course is that all the materials are there for the 5 days and it is easy to dip in and out, this is one of the many positive aspects of the course!

I noticed that there were many facilitators supporting the participants and how quickly the participants were supporting each other. There were many creative and imaginative blog posts, Google+ posts and Facebook posts. The experiences of participants and facilitators were great to see and I take away a lot of ideas (again).

The titter chats were again an amazing flurry of discussion and fun, and from this I have also agreed to host a twitter chat again in the near future with a colleague whom I met last year.

In the Thursday evening twitter chat there was a suggestion of creating a BYOD4L poem, an example of how creative the course can be. The challenge was to collaborate on this and try and produce a poem by hrs. the following day. I found myself somehow involved and before I knew it had contributed to the final version. I don’t consider myself a poet but am proud to have been part of this.

Here it is

In the digital jungle

Reaching out into the chaotic, swirling abyss

Feeling that e-learning can be so hit and miss

I want to avoid device apathy and neglect

But what does it mean to really connect?

So onwards we go

But where, do we know?

Wouldn’t it be great?

If we all started to communicate


Curating a task, can be quite unfamiliar,

belonging in museums, art galleries and similar.

With mobile devices we curate a different way

Sharing resources with scoop it and Mendeley


Five brief days, so short and sweet

In Twitter and Google we gathered to meet

Inspired to explore, discuss and create

Minds now expanded; an enlightened state


Knowledge isn’t just facts

Or historical acts

Its cerebral energy we state

When we start to create


But this isn’t the end!

We now each have a valuable PLN to tend

Our #BYOD4L community will continue to grow

Help us reach out to let others know



1 Sam Illingworth

2 Neil Withnell

3 Ian Guest

4 Peter Reed

5 Carol Haigh

6 Sue Beckingham


(The poem is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence).


Finally, I would like to say a huge thank you to the organiser of this course – Chrissi Nerantzi and Sue Beckingham, two remarkable individuals who work tirelessly for the development (and enjoyment)  of others!



#BYOD4L Day 5: They think it’s all over…


The final day of Bring Your Own Device for Learning came and went, and so too did the planned 5 days of this course. The final theme was Creating and the guidance was –

“We want to encourage you to explore learning through ‘making’ – meaning how you can use smart devices and applications to develop original and meaningful outputs as an individual or within groups. An opportunity to find ways to express yourself creatively and develop personal learning activities that are relevant and meaningful to your needs”

The day appeared to me to be a little ‘quieter’ in that there did not seem to be as many posts or conversations happening. Maybe this was due to the fact that it was the final day or that it was a Friday! Looking back I think now that it was the fact that people were busy being creative.

The final twitter chat (summary here), was a frenzy of creativity. Everyone wanted to share their experience of this course in a creative way – pictures, drawings etc, and the chat became a fun occasion.

My own personal ‘creation’ was

photo 2

although not original, this was the first image that came to mind. I have lots and lots of ideas from being part of this course, many of which I hope to implement.

Overall the course has been a fantastic experience. I will not try and name everyone involved as I will undoubtedly miss someone out, so a huge thank you to the organisers, fellow facilitators, participants, observers and those that have not been part of the course, but offered support along the way.

The 5 days may have come to an end but the BYOD4L community is continuing to grow.

#BYOD4L Day 4: There is always a way

I cannot believe how quickly the morning comes round, and I am here again writing this short post about my thoughts around yesterday’s events.

The theme for day 4 was Collaborating, with a brief explanation that we all NEED to work with other people. I have focussed here a little on the word ‘need’, as it took me a little while to agree with this, but I do!

The posts from the day were rich and varied and a great twitter chat in the evening helped to explore the issue in more detail.

A few  key themes stood out for me,

  1. The true notion of collaboration, not just working together but the ‘depth’ of this collaboration.
  2. The places in which we can collaborate, with the tools that we have at our fingertips.
  3. The balance between on line and face-to-face collaboration. I have collaborated with people that I have never met in person.
  4. What this means to my own practice, how can I enhance the collaboration between myself, colleagues and students?


I will need to explore some of this myself and look at how I can address some of these issues.

Relating back to the ‘need’ to collaborate, I will add that if I WANT to collaborate there is always a way

#BYOD4L Day 3: What are the apps?

Day 3 of Bring Your Own Device for Learning prompted participants to focus on the topic of CuratingAs with the previous days there are 2 videos, one of a student and one of a teacher perspective, and this allows participants the opportunity to make a response to one of the videos, if possible in a different way to previous responses (video, image, artefact etc).

The added guidance

“There is a lot of information out there and this is an opportunity to explore the different ways you can use your smart devices and applications to filter, store, organise and manage information effectively so that you can maximise retrieval for learning and development when needed”

highlighted a particular word for me – applications

Over the last few days I have read many blogs, posts, watched videos and have been making a list as I go along. This list is a list of new apps, which is a rather long, and growing, list. I must confess that (like many others) I do have a habit of hoarding apps and don’t always use them, or recognise how helpful they can be. In terms of curating I have information filtered, stored and organised  in many different places, this often causes some difficulty with how I manage the plethora of information.

My list is too long to add here, but I post a few to remind myself to check them out (acknowledging that I am also storing information on here).

Wordeo, Capture, Appear.In, Delicious, Mendeley, Feedly, Flipboard, Pinterest, Pocket, Zite, Pearltrees, Paper.Li, Padlet, Goodreads,…. I could go on

Confession – I was present at the twitter chat last evening, though did not do a lot of chatting. I found myself exploring some of these apps and flitting in and out of the chat. Capturing the chat on another app (Storify), that I used myself this week,  is another great way of storing ‘information’, the chat can be found here.

Right, now where did I put that app that will make me a cup of coffee……?








#BYOD4L Day 2: Keep on blogging

Day 2 of the Bring Your Own Device for Learning course came and went in a blur. There was lots of communication (the theme of day 2) on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. It was clearly evident that people were communicating, by sharing their thoughts, their ideas and their blogs.

Communication is most effective when it is a two-way process. I accept that communication can be one-way, but I also find it helpful when I receive feedback for something that I have communicated. I am by no means a great blogger, but find it helpful to receive comments on the very few posts that I have made. A lot of the blogs I read yesterday were very insightful; with images, videos, personal views and often a questioning type approach. I found myself exploring some of the issues further and learned a great deal about BYOD4L, but also tips on how to make my own blog more creative.I tried to spend what “free” time I had (not much) reading around the various sites and blogs and making a comment and a LIKE here and there, recognising that people spend a lot of their time in communicating their thoughts with others – I felt that it was important to give a response where I could.

Note to self – keep on blogging (and commenting on other blogs)

Theme for day 3 – Curating

#BYOD4L Day 1: The morning after the day/night before

I am writing this blog post after looking back over a hectic first day on BYOD4L, as a volunteer facilitator.

I started the day with excitement, seeing all the posts in Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, which left me with a dilemma – where do I focus? should I respond to everything? My initial reaction was to spend a little time reading (which was difficult as I had a busy day teaching) and engaging as necessary. It was great to quickly see that the participants themselves were responding to (and supporting) each other, which was not that surprising when I look back – the focus of the day was Connecting.

I tried to keep up with the ‘interactions’ by popping in when I could during the day, and then my focus was on the Twitter Chat in the evening. This was the first time that I had been a facilitator on a Twitter Chat and I was keen to see how this went – I was amazed at how fast the chat was, and became so engaged in the posts that I felt like I was losing control (as a facilitator). It was great that there were 2 of us as I would have found myself getting lost if I was on my own (Sue Beckingham was also facilitating and did a splendid job of this).

Looking back to the day and the focus of the day, I can honestly say that connecting took place.


Now ready for day 2 – Communicating






Bring Your Own Device for Learning #BYOD4L

Monday 27th January 2014 sees the start of a 5-day, free, open online course, for which I am proud to have been asked to be a facilitator.

This course has been put together by Chrissi Nerantzi and Sue Beckingham and looks very exciting. It is a course for students and teachers –  check it out here

The group of facilitators had a Google Hangout and this was a fun occasion where a discussion took place about the course and how we can support the participants. This Hangout was full of enthusiasm and passion,  and a very clear commitment that everyone wants to support a course that creates the opportunity for learning – I left the Hangout feeling very excited.

I have participated in online courses before, mainly for academic staff and over a much longer period, I am keen to see how this progresses.

So, I hope to keep up with further posts about this exciting course and hope to see and connect with people online –  Learning is Fun!