Is My Major Project Really Over???

We are yet again at the end of a semester of #edtech.  And although this is technically “the end” of EC&I 831, I really do not feel a sense of closure (and I don’t feel that Alec and Katia would want us to either), but instead a continuation of EC&I 832 and a personal pedagogical change for the better.  As was last semester, my major project was a journey – a web of sorts – rather than a chain.  It was not a one way flow of energy rather a branching in different paths while maintaining the same ancestral point of entrance – divergent evolution!

  1.  Since I focused on having my students create blogs last semester, I felt that it was time for me to focus on myself and how I can advance my own educational pedagogy.  I chose to concentrate my major project on MOOCs, specifically to introduce myself to a new way of learning and possibly a new way of facilitating a course.  The idea of a MOOC first piqued my interest during the last week on November 30th when we explored the Dave Cormier’s concept of Rhizomatic Learning, learning without a middle or an end.  I will admit, as a science teacher, the term “rhizomatic” made a lot of sense to me, I fundamentally understood this concept before I researched it.  Yet, as a learner I was a bit confused about how nodules related to learning and I wanted to put energy into this topic, especially after attending #etmooc in January. EVERYTHING CLICKED after that hour!  I was hooked and left wanting to be part of a MOOC community. I explored the internet in Here A MOOC, There A MOOC, Everywhere A MOOC, MOOC.  I enrolled in a MOOC called “Reading to Learn in Science” as I felt that if I was to put energy into this than not only would I ensure that I would learn, so would my students!
  2. Just In Time!  Yes, I had enrolled in the “Reading to Learn in Science” class just in time, and was only a few weeks behind, but with the amount of time allowed for each section I was able to easily catch up. I was really enjoying the flexibility a MOOC allowed for participants.  I began to look for places in Canada that used MOOCs and was pleasantly surprised that BC has been exploring these as OER platforms. This week, I was introduces to the concept of a COOL course, this is something that I will look into further as they are intriguing.
  3. Due to the amount of time between sessions in the MOOC I was participating in, I was only able to post about the content of the course about once per month.  Already I was beginning to feel that this MOOC was not a connectivist MOOC (cMOOC) but rather an xMOOC – and I quickly began to discover that this was not what I was hoping to become involved in. In Science – the Mother Subject, I concentrated on literacy supports that can be utilized within the science classroom rather than conversations with other science teachers about what can be gained from one another.
  4. More than One MOOC!?!  Alec encouraged me to look into MOOCs as there were many of them, I knew about CMOOCs and xMOOCs, but these?   transferMOOCs, madeMOOCs, synchMOOCs, asynchMOOCs, adaptiveMOOCs, groupMOOCs and miniMOOCSs.  It was really through my research of MOOCs that I learned that I truly relate more to the connectivists (developed by George Seimens and Stephen Downes) rather than behaviorist learning theories.  I began researching for a cMOOC to join.  I did this by reaching out via twitter and Google+ communities (yay for search tools other than Google – Let me google that for you, right?).
  5. I found my type of  learning community!!!! cMOOCs – Welcome Home was truly the epiphany of my learning project, and the beginning of the end of my xMOOC journey (for right now at this point anyway, and I am just fine with that). I found a cMOOC that was beginning very soon!  The communication between myself and the other participants was somewhat similar to what I experienced as an onlooker into the #etMOOC environment!
  6. I feel that I was beginning my learning project all over again, but not really, as I felt that I did learn what I set out to for my major learning project.  And Another New Beginning was born – this time to with a clear focus on only one type of MOOC – but also with a connection to EC&I 831 as I chose a MOOC which I was already interested in MOSOMELT (mobile online social media learning technology).  I felt that I had come full circle, as the beginning week of mosomelt was very similar to that of this class.
  7. A new type of social media learning tool – we were asked to introduce ourselves using the MSQRD app – so I gave it a whirl and became a tank driver!  I do have some reservations about this app though, it is fun, but I feel that it has the capability to aid in online identity scams as you can choose to have your entire face “hidden” by a mask.
  8. My Get Out of Jail Free Card – an official goodby to the xMOOC!  I am currently solely concentrating on mosomelt!  Since joining this MOOC, I have continued to explore social learning within schools and the advantages our students can have with using BYOD in the classroom in combination with OER.

This is clearly not the end of my learning journey into MOOCs, just the opposite!  I have learned a lot from this project – and have narrowed my focus for the future of my masters degree as well as being able to expand my students learning experiences through knowledge that I have gained this semester.  Win-Win!

 

 

Celebration of Learning

Wow!  Has this semester ever flown by!  I really can’t believe that we are at the end of this chapter in our learning.  I wanted to try something new for my celebration of learning, so I decided to try an emaze presentation. Not only do I want to keep on learning new things, I want to try and “up the ante” so to speak with our school newsletter, therefore taking amaze for a test drive only seemed natural!

Disrobing via Slacktivism

So far this has been a very hard blog to write, not 100 percent too sure why, but it may be because knowing that I have unknowingly contributed to the “slacktivism” movement makes a person look inward and take stock of themselves.  So, where did the spark to write this post come from?  Simple – it came from a tweet!

Thank you Lance and Ashley!

According to the Urban Dictionary – A slacktivist is a “person who does simple things like change their avatar colour or post a status update about a cause instead of actively supporting the cause.”   ALS ice bucket challenge, Pink and Red equals signs for equal rights in marriage.  Avatar activism is not a bad thing, it does raise awareness on issues and does bring issues to light, reaching many people on social media in a very short time.  But does it end there, with a re-tweet, changing the colour of your Facebook profile picture, wearing a bracelet in support of a cause that means a lot to the individual?  The video below takes a look at the positives of having slacktivists in our society.

Katherine Hudson points out that 5000 likes is worth more than one conversations.  ONE CONVERSATION!  Again, this brings to mind the idea from Michael Wesch’s TED Talk knowledgable vs. knowledge-able.  The evolution of using knowledge (knowing a bunch of stuff) towards a concept of being knowledge-able  (find, sort, analyze, what can be said, who can say it, who hears what is said) which are used to start conversations.  At 12:30 into his TED Talk, Michael speaks about a software used to send alerts to based on where you are to your cell phone – essentially creating 45,000 citizen reporters.  These “reporters” were not physically doing anything, they were sending alerts, so are these “reporters” slacktivists?

One last thing, and brining it back to Katherine Hudson; are slacktivitst disrobing us of our own opinions or are they educating and moving the tassel on the mortarboard from the right side to the left?