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john birchall

HELP

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For the last two years I have been (a) trying to build traffic to my section of the VIRTUAL SCHOOL - www.eun.org/virtual school and (:rolleyes: develop collaboration and co-operation amongst European business education teachers.

Is there anyone out there who would like to join in these VERY frustrating tasks?

John

john-Birchall@bsc.biblio.net

www.johnbirchall-economist.net

Edited by john birchall

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Send this message to the Virtual school coordinator Anne Gilleran (anne.gilleran@eun.org). I know that you feel frustrated. I’m “head” of History department. Most of the members from History department deserted Community for example to create instead this debate Forum. Largely because the Virtual school project do not function very well.

Is the idea of cooperation of European teachers dead? Or does there exist new forms of cooperation’s based on a new ways of thinking? You have to find out:……

Edited by Dalibor Svoboda

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Most of the members from History department deserted Community for example to create instead this debate Forum. Largely because the Virtual school project do not function very well.

Not being a member of the of the Virtual School I come to this with very little background knowledge. However it is clear that the Education Forum has been created with one of its primary objectives being to support the European Virtual School. I find it surprising that you or anyone should see its creation as some form of "desertion".

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Send this message to the Virtual school coordinator Anne Gilleran (anne.gileran@eun.org). I know that you feel frustrated. I’m “head” of History department. Most of the members from History department deserted Community for example to create instead this debate Forum. Largely because the Virtual school project do not function very well.

Is the idea of cooperation of European teachers dead? Or does there exist new forms of cooperation’s based on a new ways of thinking? You have to find out:……

I would have thought that this forum will enable European cooperation to take place. For example, see how European teachers are cooperating with the Aviation Project. This type of cooperation was very difficult to arrange via the community section of the Virtual School.

The real problem concerns the desire to control this communication between European teachers without the technical ability to make it possible. Last week I was invited to spend a weekend in Brussels in order to “build a "safe" online environment for teachers to collaborate". Understandably, after helping to create this forum for the Virtual School I have little desire to spend a weekend reinventing the wheel.

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John and others,

It's amazing what a difference a few days can make. I finally made contact with Italian students from Verona and now we have a large number of disccussions taking place. Most contain more philosophy than anything I have experienced in UK! Indeed, I am kept rather busy answering everything. Alas, I have not been able to entice either French or German participation.

I did have to work hard producing powerpoint presentations, weekly news, analysis of current affairs and other features and then the visitors had something to look at and use.

So, at last some good news but like others I am always amazed by the lack of concern amongst those at VS regarding traffic and real involvement. I'll stop there as I might say something that will annoy those in Brussels!!

John

www.johnbirchall-economist.net

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However it is clear that the Education Forum has been created with one of its primary objectives being to support the European Virtual School. I find it surprising that you or anyone should see its creation as some form of "desertion".

Educational forum supports exchange of debates between European teachers. The same goal has the Communities created at all the departments of Virtual School. The same debates as are going today at Educational Forum should have been done there. It was vital for the long term survival of Virtual school. Some communities succeeded better than others.

Educational Forum does not support Virtual school and it’s activities at all.

Members of History department tried to start different debates at two debate forums (the first created only for History department at the very beginning, the second at the Community) but without any success. I do feel that some of us at History department did tried harder others gave up more easily.

John Simkin´s explanation of our failure is correct.

The truth today is that we deserted our Community at History department. Nevertheless it’s history now.

(By the way does History Forum still work or everybody moved from there to Educational forum?)

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The truth today is that we deserted our Community at History department. Nevertheless it’s history now.

(By the way does History Forum still work or everybody moved from there to Educational forum?)

The History Forum is still a very vibrant community of which John, Richard and I are active members.

I haven't even seen the Virtual School Community so am unable to comment on this - where would I find it?

Educational Forum does not support Virtual school and it’s activities at all.

This forum could and should work very closely and very succesfully with the Virtual School and indeed when I contributed to setting it up I rather hoped that it would.

I can only assume that there is a reluctance from some in the Virtual School for this to happen??? This is disappointing but this forum will continue to provide a free vehicle for European teachers to discuss and collaborate whether it is with VS backing or not.

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The forum recently received a boost in traffic from Italy but it is beginning to wane. We are on VS, then Economics, then Community and a join sign comes up.

I have tried to get BOTH France and Germany on board but that is VERY diffcult.

John

www.johnbirchall-economist.net

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However it is clear that the Education Forum has been created with one of its primary objectives being to support the European Virtual School. I find it surprising that you or anyone should see its creation as some form of "desertion".

Educational forum supports exchange of debates between European teachers. The same goal has the Communities created at all the departments of Virtual School. The same debates as are going today at Educational Forum should have been done there. It was vital for the long term survival of Virtual school. Some communities succeeded better than others.

I would argue that this forum is doing more for the long-term future of the Virtual School than the communities section of the site. The communities section used bad technology and was poorly thought out. One of the problems with the Virtual School is that it has a very hierarchal structure. This means people at the top making decisions and then telling its members about them. This might work in organizations where the individual’s pay and career prospects are determined by those giving the orders. In a voluntary organization like the Virtual School it is a very bad model that is bound to fail.

The Education Forum is a very different model. It is completely shaped by its members. It also makes it very easy for others to join and to post suggestions on the way people can collaborate. For the communities section to have worked it needed to use software like that used by the Education Forum. If the Virtual School really wanted to encourage the maximum cooperation it would have fully embraced it rather than boycotting it.

I resent the claim that I am doing anything to destroy the Virtual School. I promote the organization via my own website and in my newsletters. I was the one that argued for its logo to appear on every one of the Education Forum’s pages. I have also added the Virtual School URL to my signature. I am surprised that other members of the Virtual School have not followed my example.

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Inspired by the discussion, I tried to join the community of English Language teachers. That was two hours ago and I still haven't received my 'authorisation'. Maybe it was because I put my reason for wanting to join down as 'Curiosity'.

No wonder the Virtual School is having problems getting people interested - the threshold at the front door is almost insurmountable. I just hope that what's inside is worth the wait!

I think John's on to something here, though. In any technology-driven virtual community you can control people, or you can set them loose. The Education Forum has obviously decided on the latter, whilst the Virtual School seems to have settled on the former.

When you've decided on your approach, you then want people to contribute their time, their opinions and their skills freely. Guess which approach works best!

Mind you, my reaction is probably governed by the fact that I work in one of the countries which is most sceptical of all things EU (Sweden). I'd probably have a different attitude if I worked somewhere else.

Edited by David Richardson

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I resent the claim that I am doing anything to destroy the Virtual School. I promote the organization via my own website and in my newsletters. I was the one that argued for its logo to appear on every one of the Education Forum’s pages. I have also added the Virtual School URL to my signature. I am surprised that other members of the Virtual School have not followed my example.

Virtual school existence is based on the activities members do develop inside it. These activities are measured by European Commission as we had been informed at our previous meetings of Virtual school. The more activities were developed inside Virtual school the more support of any kind was given to Virtual school from the European and national authorities.

The communities were given to every department of Virtual school to enhance activities in form of debate, internal exchange of ideas, as a platform for planning etc. The Community of History department did not do very well. Other Communities (as I was informed) did work better …….

It’s not a question of promoting Virtual school at “own website and at own letters” because when people from outside visit this promoted place they very fast discover that “almost nothing” is going on there. Why is “almost nothing “going on there? Because most of the creative people who should be there did move to Educational Forum!

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I resent the claim that I am doing anything to destroy the Virtual School. I promote the organization via my own website and in my newsletters. I was the one that argued for its logo to appear on every one of the Education Forum’s pages. I have also added the Virtual School URL to my signature. I am surprised that other members of the Virtual School have not followed my example.

Virtual school existence is based on the activities members do develop inside it. These activities are measured by European Commission as we had been informed at our previous meetings of Virtual school. The more activities were developed inside Virtual school the more support of any kind was given to Virtual school from the European and national authorities.

The communities were given to every department of Virtual school to enhance activities in form of debate, internal exchange of ideas, as a platform for planning etc. The Community of History department did not do very well. Other Communities (as I was informed) did work better …….

It’s not a question of promoting Virtual school at “own website and at own letters” because when people from outside visit this promoted place they very fast discover that “almost nothing” is going on there. Why is “almost nothing “going on there? Because most of the creative people who should be there did move to Educational Forum!

Well I do not think it is a rivalry. I agree with John that this system at Education Forum is a lot easier to use then the Community software from the EUN. For another project I have created also a community and the result was problems like in the VS History Community. Now I use a website with software designed by our own technical people and it works very well!

Perhaps it is just a case of easier access and more control over your own work?

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Alas, we seem to agree on the sad state of the VS. I have written considerable amounts of material for the site and produced almost no repsonse. Is this because everything is in English?

I have also offered to work with my French and German equivalents and try to build connections with the two single largest markets that exist within the EU. To my suprise VS seems disinterested in traffic figures and response levels!

I did enjoy a few days of dialogue with some Italian teachers but that has now stopped. I just wonder if all the costs and individual work is really worth it?

John

www.johnbirchall-economist.net

Edited by john birchall

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