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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?).
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!