My Get Out Of Jail Free Card

My exploration of MOOC’s continues; specifically with cMOOCs.   I have set aside the xMOOC I was taking at the start of the semester,  the timing just wasn’t right for me to be taking another oMOOCn-line course. In some ways, I feel like my major learning project in #eci831 has been my “Get out of jail free card” as we are encouraged to explore a subject that is important to us at this time.  For me, that exploration revolved around learning about MOOCs (at the time I did’t even know that there was more than one type of MOOC)!

 

This week, our #mosomelt community began exploring more ways to introduce ourselves via mobile technology.  We could into ourselves using either Instagram video or a Vine video.  I choose the latter of the two, simply because I feel okay using Instagram and had never used Vine before.

As you can see – I still need to play around a bit and get up the nerve to actually speak to my phone, it feels a bit weird to speak when no one is there;  maybe I just need to be in my car and pretend like I am in carpool karaoke 🙂

Our mosomelt community was also given some suggested readings for the week – I read the article What Killed the Mobile Learning Dream by John Traxler regarding BYOD – this is something that the school division in which I am employed is currently trying in a few of our classrooms (yay!) so the article held particular relevance to me.

I don’t think we’ve clearly thought through what exactly that might mean but, also, some of those concerns are proxies for a rather different question. When students bring their own devices, they also bring their own services and connectivity, and whereas we used to make the rules by which they could use the desktops or by which they could access the network – because it was ours – in future it will be their network and their devices.

The rules that have been set out by school divisions regarding what sites we want our students to be working on, and what sites we want to block were in our control, but as soon as students bring their own devices, the schools are no longer in control – in essence the students are and the rules will now be broken.  In control of their own learning – is this such a bad thing?  In my opinion NO – in fact it is what I strive for, but then again, I do teach high school students and I want them to be independent learners. Another thing that may scare educators and school divisions off of BYOD is that the teacher may now have to be an expert in all things tech, again NO.  If our students are striving to be independent learners, part of that learning process is how to use THEIR learning tool.

We also want our students to learn by discussion and interaction. They can do that in an open world as well. Why do we want to get our students to get locked into our VLE [virtual learning environment] to consume our closed content?

Exactly!  And just as the video below states – BYOD lets the learner learn with choice of device that works for the student (one they are comfortable with) while allowing those students who do not have their own digital devices to use the schools devices, ultimately decreasing the digital divide, as everyone would have a device to learn on.  And to me, this is similar to MOOCs – giving the learner the choice to learn the best way they can (xMOOC vs cMOOC) from those that are experts in their chosen fields of study.

Just like the Monopoly board at the beginning of this post has a variety of icons that the players get to choose to be (shoe, race car, etc.), I believe BYOD and MOOCs together allow learners the freedom to choose the best method to increase understanding of the content being presented.

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On the Road to Discovery

I am a senior science teacher and Vice Principal in a small school in Saskatchewan, Canada.  Saskatchewan

Currently, I am working on my Masters of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Regina.  I have taken two classes of educational technology and social media and have had that “ah-ha” moment where I realized that THIS is what I want my thesis to be on.  The “this” that I am referring to is that of the use of MOOCs within the science classroom to increase students engagement.  I still need to figure out what engagement is to look like, but have a bit of time to work through this – any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!  I am taking an xMOOC out for a test run, but feel that I am missing something – I am missing the connections with an xMOOC that I am hoping to gain in this MOOC.

This year, I would like to try working on increasing my Twitter usage, currently I tweet or re-tweet.  But I am wanting to create tweets with substance and those that allow for a flow of conversations. I have begun to use WordPress blogs in all of my science classes – all of my students are required to blog once a week and I have moved from a paper based class towards a blog posted, online learning platform class.