Deeper connections – this is what I have been looking for, although I did not realize it at the beginning of my #edtech journey into #OER (open education resources). As I participated in the #etmooc chat on January of this year, I began to have a sense that a MOOC was where I wanted to venture in my major project.
— Susan Spellman Cann (@SSpellmanCann) January 22, 2016
I am very interested in open education in the high school science classroom and want to further explore how a MOOC can help our students engage in the curriculum. Now, I realize that I still need to figure out fully what the word “engage” looks, sounds, and feels like – but this is an area that I intend to explore and expand in depth further into my thesis. But in order to begin to understand the focus of my thesis, I understood that I first needed to explore MOOCs a bit further. So far in the course, I have taken an xMOOC out for a “test drive”, and while it is a very good course, it is just that, a university style course, and not what I am personally looking for. It’s just that, a personal choice.
I have been doing deeper research into cMOOCs, honestly, they just click with me. Do you ever have that moment? The moment when you know that you are on the right path because it just feels right? I finally have that feeling, and its great! A cMOOC, as I previously researched, is based on connectivism. Just the word alone, connectivism, a community connected with one another, learning together clicks – this is the basis for my research and an opportunity I want to give to my students. Think of it as the ultimate peer tutoring if you will. I really liked the feel of #etmooc, created by Alec Couros (yes, the real Alec Courso), and was fortunate enough to have a brief glimpse of. Previous to the start of the #etmooc, Peter Rorabaugh had a chance to Twiterview Alec, it really is a very interesting “read” on how a course and a collaboration exists symbiotically. Here is a snippet of one of their meetings, they know each other by name and are genuinely happy to see one another and connect not only pedagogically, but personally.
I think that Julie Balen captured the essence of collaboration and celebrations of #etmooc in her blog, Why Celebrate a Course?
“it is the only learning experience I’ve had where openness, flexibility, lightheartedness, seriousness, collegiality, collaboration, creation, intellectualism, and generosity co-existed”.
Really, what other course creates something as masterful as this? Geographically separated, yet not at all.
So, I have started to look for a few cMOOC’s to test drive, to see if I can join a community of learners passionate about the same things that I am and have an open collaboration, one that allows me to improve my own pedagogy. So far this is what I have found:
#rhizo16 by Dave Cormier will be starting up May 10th?
— Sarah Honeychurch (@NomadWarMachine) March 1, 2016
I have also found MOSOMELT , Mobile Social Media Learning Technologies, which seems to be based out of New Zealand, but the beauty of social media is that geography melts away during connectedness. This cMOOC begins March 14. Check out their website and Google+ community.
I have also put out a call on Twitter:
— Carla Cooper (@carlacoop) March 6, 2016
If you happen to know of a cMOOC starting up, please let me know, or better yet join me!
One last thing I will throw note; if you are someone who is new to MOOCs like I am and are unsure of which way to go, there is a “cross-breed” between the xMOOCs and the cMOOCs, the dual layer.
It is something that I will investigate further, because you never know until you try. But for now, and believe me I am very new to this, a cMOOC just feels right.