Hello Astrid, (and everyone else!)
I'm going to respond to Astrid's Questions in RED. I really enjoyed facilitating the Transitioning to Post Secondary group with Tamra Sieve.
1) What worked well in your CI group? We had about 40 people, so we split into about 8 groups of five and they worked on the questions we gave them. They worked on three different discussion questions, and then we came back to the large group to share in a 3 minute summary from each group. We did have time to put together a "what we need from State ABE" feedback form at the end. So I guess what I'm saying is that breaking into the small groups was effective and the large group sharing was helpful to pull out the big ideas.
2) What would you do differently next time? Since it went so well, I don't know that we'd change the format, but maybe just change the content of the questions, or dig deeper into the initiative. The format worked very well. I could have followed up more with the discussion board part, and maybe should have pulled up the website and given a quick "how to" demonstration regarding the discussion boards.
3) How did participants respond to the idea of using the online discussion boards? To be honest, most of them just sat there with the "deer in the headlights" look. I did point out that a step by step guide was in the folder and we pulled it out and looked at it. This is the first time I myself have done anything on a discussion board for ABE, and I'm relieved that it is very simple, so I'm hopeful they'll participate. Bella Hanson volunteered to maintain our discussion board (thank you Bella!).
4) Other than the online discussion boards, did your group come up with ideas for continuing "collective intelligence" throughout the year? No we really didn't get to that point, however it was brought up in our "Use it or lose it" session that it was well received and should be continued in some form at the regionals this year.
5) Do you think we should include CI groups at regional events? Why or why not? Yes, for two reasons:
1) We will be able to meet in smaller groups to discuss things that are relevant to our subject area in our LOCAL setting (maybe a common issue that is relevant to only our rural setting, etc)
2) Taking this regionally will provide the continuity that is necessary for this "Collective Intelligence" phenomenon to work....once a year at the state-wide conference is not enough to promote the discussion board idea. We need to spread the word and document this networking that is happening.