… a question without a question mark triggered during and after week 2 #CMC11 webinar with Stephen Downes and after watching one more time Ken Robinson’s TED clip ‘Bring on the learning revolution’ included in #CMC11 week 3 resources
Maybe we could discuss
- what we understand by passion
- how we feel about people who are passionate
- how we actually know that they are passionate
- what effect passionate individuals/groups(?) have on others
- what are the implications of passion for the passionate individual/group(?) and for others
if anybody is interested ;o)
Please note: the above doodles were made before actually seeing the doodle stuff presented over the weekend on #CMC11. When I saw them after this posting… I couldn’t believe my eyes… just a coincidence?
Started writing this post a few days ago. Today, I came back and deleted what I had written. It didn’t reflect anymore my thinking. I therefore decided to capture my reflections using photovoices. My thoughts wander to some of my week 2 readings but also to a conference I attended today at the University of Wolverhampton (check out their Learning to Teach Inclusively OER).
Rushed home to login and participate in this first webinar. I couldn’t believe it when I had difficulties loggin into Blackboard Collaborate… I thought I would miss it! In the end I didn’t…
I have to admit, I expected… the masses when I arrived. I thought finally, I will understand why a MOOC is called a MOOC and what this is all about.
Yes, I am still wondering why these open courses have been baptised MOOCs. If anybody is reading this and can explain this to me that would be fantastic. So, no masses tonight. I was actually thinking that more people would engage in a synchronous way than asynchronously since this would be a one-off per week but then of course asynchronous communication and collaboration might be more convenient because it can happen anytime, anyhow, anywhere if you have the technology in your pocket or bag. But is it effective for everything? I have heard and experienced many times how slow it can be (too slow? Too slow for what?) How could we use effectively synchronous communication and collaboration? Think about lectures and how these are usually delivered. Tutor and learners are there but who speaks most and why? If tutors are there for the learners, why don’t we let them lead us? And if this is possible and we should be doing this, how would this look like in a webinar? The asynchronous form to communicate and collaborate online has indeed moved away from being a tutor driven activity. Self-directed learners experience this as a paradise. How can non-self-directed learner learn how to thrive in such environments?
Is it just a problem with all the different timezones? Are people signing up without participating? How many are just lurking? How many are just accessing the resources and participate elsewhere, perhaps within existing online communities? And what would make them participate (more)? How do you form online communities? How do we form online communities? How can disconnected blog entries become conversations among individuals and enable them to get together. Do we spend more time searching for such opportunities? Or is it too early yet and I want it to happen now? Am I impatient? If we want to be part of a community we can’t expect that others will find us and come to us, I think. What role do we play, or could we play in the formation of such communities?
I am still clouded about all this and have many questions in my head (loads more than I have included here). However, I have started making some connections and I no longer feel on my own. Some meaningful exchange is happening and I am thinking about this course frequenty during the day. Maybe this is because we just started developing our own open course. I wouldn’t call ours a MOOC at this stage but I guess since it will be open access, we should prepare ourselves that it might become a MOOC. But how would we prepare ourselves?
Let’s focus a bit on the webinar itself. The orientation today was very useful and it is definitely something we will also offer in our own little open course. We might use additional features of Blackboard Collaborate doing this such as
- the video and photographs of the tutors/facilitators
- design activities during which learners can participate on the whiteboard and polls
- if the group is small, introductions and why everybody is there, would help to give a more group feel
- demo site features by using the desktop sharing or weblink to make it more dynamic, live and responsive
- integrate questions into the session throughout which would enable participants to respond
- encourage individuals to take the microphone (this might be problematic if not a community)
- also less is more on slides, we would keep more empty room in the slides to enable adding of thoughts and ideas expressed during the webinar (this could be done by a moderators)
- Using emoticons can also add to the webinar experience and enable participation and responding in different ways.
Then again we are also keen to explore the use of the BigBlueButton since it is an open access web-conferencing tool. At the moment we are discussing options and try to identify the best way forward. But it would be great to use an open source tool for an open course… If you are reading this and have any ideas and would like to help us, please get in touch.
Am I focusing too much on the process than on the content of this course? Is this normal at this stage? Was this the point of the orientation tour? Just checking.
Beyond what I have already included, I have two terms zooming around in my head since they first appeared on one of the pages this evening. Multiculturalism and Interculturalism, as an ex-translator and a non-native English speaker, I try to understand the differences between these terms so that I can distinguish between them, add them first to my passive vocabulary but also my active one, if or when needed. After a brief visit to wikipedia, this is how I think I understood it and I am going to share my thinking visually in a very simplistic way. I would really like some thoughts on this, if you are reading this so that it can help me understand better.
Will stop here for now and think a bit more about what I externalised and captured here. I am sure some of the questions will die and new questions will be born.
Big day has arrived and I have to admit I feel a bit lost. Where to look, how to connect and with whom? Started looking for people I know. I have information that some of them signed-up. Haven’t found anybody yet in any of the platforms and am now wondering where they are… feeling a bit on my own in this MOOC but have started participating, well asking a few questions and responding to posts published by others and have started making some links.
Looked today around the programme site (it seems to make sense) and focused on week 1 for now. Didn’t have much time to spend on the readings but identified 1 or 2 resources, I think they were two, which I would like to study in more detail. In a way, I used this evening to filter out, what I am going to read in the next few days. Things that already made me think and I want to find out more about them, such as this business with creativity in a multicultural context. As mentioned in one of the discussions, I have always been a foreigner in a foreign country, all my life. This is probably not so unique anymore, but I am wondering if this reality had influenced the way I practise creativity and the creative habits I have developed because I had to, because I wanted to find ways to communicate and connect with others and language on its own became a barrier at times? Just wondering…
My initial plan is to do the following on a daily basis (if I have the time and energy – it will be hard not to have the energy since it is something I love doing and I get immersed but, I do have a family as well and I need to balance my activities wisely… )
- Ok, I guess, I will start by checking the weekly resources which will provide some kind of focus.
- I will then explore how these or some of them could be useful for my own professional context and the projects I am involved. That would be my filtering done.
- Then a will probably start thinking and reflecting and studying and probably blog some of my thoughts to get them out of my system but also hoping that somebody will read and connect so that we can start exchanging experiences and stories. Working on the blog post, will probably take a day or two, depending on what I would like to share, how deep I want to investigate things but also how much time I have available. I wish the day had more hours!!!
- Even after the filtering stage, I would start looking for opportunities to engage in conversations with others who say things that interests me and challenge my own thinking. I think it will be especially valuable to connect with others who have opposite views because that will make me think deeper about my own.
Just watched this intro video on MOOCs again. I think this is a clip that you can watch again and again and remind yourself why you are participating and what you could get out of it. Also, I have found George Siemens post “How to participate in an open online coure” really useful. And while I am not a number person, I am still looking for a definition of a MOOC linked to numbers (and I noticed that other MOOCers are also asking) since we are talking about MASSIVE open online courses.
How is massive defined in the context of a MOOC? Is it massive because it has the potential to be massive (due to its openess) or because it actually is massive (number of participants)? And if massive is 100 or 200 when we deliver modules to the same amount of people, could we therefore call them massive modules? On a non-open course you know how many learners you have? How will you ever know (guess? use statistics?) how many learners are participating, engaging, on- or off-line one way or the other in a MOOC?
Just to put things into context first: I haven’t really created any videos for teaching and learning before, despite the fact that I enjoy capturing some of our family moments using this medium and enjoy playing them back. My boys love this too and have started taking their own as well. I noticed, that these clips have the power to transfer me back in time and enable me to re-live that experience more vividly but also I notice change(s).
Recenly, I felt that it was about time to break through ready-made video resources I have used many times for teaching and learning. There are of course some excellent and very useful clips out there but I feel that it is now time to start making my or our own since I will be doing this with a colleague.
We recently bought two camcorders using a small amount of money we received from MELSIG for a media-rich learning project I was involved using Voicethread. We didn’t get the most expensive ones for two reasons: 1. we didn’t have more money 2. we are amateurs and needed something that is easy to use and would enable us to learn while filming without feeling frustrated with the technology. We have our camcorder and there is no excuse not to make our own little clips now. We are learning on the job and it is time consuming but fun too! I spend 2 days working on the very first clip. I need help and support and have therfore become a member of ViTAL and hope to connect with others who are using or would like to use video in education and learn new stuff. The SCORE Short Term Fellowship (next round now open! apply if you are interested!) also helped and probably made me think more about creating my own clips for teaching and learning. Now, I can and I want to. I have also found YouTube very useful to discover more about the camcorder I am using (the manual was very very poor). It is amazing how this sharing business can really work online. I shared a problem on YouTube using the comments box and received an answer to my question almost instantly. Real support in real-time. Wow!
But why make our own and not just use ready-made ones? Well, this is a question I asked myself before starting this. The main reason for me personally was when I came up with the idea for the “Food for thought” series (the title I gave to the video series) is probably the pleasure and the excitement I feel when I make things (see my previous posts linked to making things). Also, this is a great opportunity to learn a new skill but also engage deeper with hot issues linked to teaching and learning. Even putting the questions together, is challenging and needs preparation and there is a lot of research and learning involved. When I put a question together, I always ask myself: “What would I anwer?” but also, when deciding what to ask: “What would I like to find out?” So, we are not just creating a learning resource for others, yes the “Food for thought” series is an Open Educational Resource (OER) published and made available under Creative Commons, but we, the creators use this as an opportunity to learn during the process of creating the clip. The other advantage of course would be that we would be able to tailor the series to our needs and provide a focus that would make sense to us and be useful for a particular group of people. Of course it the clips won’t be perfect, because they are not put together by professionals. We don’t focus on the aesthetics (and there will be imperfections) but on the content and the opportunity to engage others through what seems a more passive and one-way medium. This is the challenge but also the beauty of it all. Will it work? We will find out. If this doesn’t make sense, think of ready-made meals and home cooked food! It might not look that perfect but it tastes just right.
Initially, I thought that this series would be useful for our Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) at the University of Salford and it will be. I have plans to use these clips on the Learning and Teaching in Higher Education module but also an open access module which is currently under development. We have already secured a series of experts (Dr. Keith Smyth, Dr. Panos Vlachopoulos, Prof. Chris Hockings, Dr. Nicola Whiton, Frances Bell and Clare Killen) who are willing to share their thoughts on hot issues linked to teaching and learning and feature in one of our “Food for thought” episodes (these are currently under development and we should have the next episodes soon). We are very grateful for their generosity.
We were very lucky and had the pleasure to record our first episode with Fred Garnett from the Knowledge Lab. This clip is included below. Fred created an online space which he baptised Learning with YouTube to enable us all to engage in a conversation and debate about themes presented in this particular clip but also others that will follow and I think this is a great idea and has the potential to transform video-watching, which can, or is, more passive engagement into something that enables active engagement through conversations and collaborations. This was the idea behind finishing each of our “Food for thought” clips with an open question addressing the viewers that had the power to trigger thinking, reflection and action for engagement.
I wanted to use this opportunity to briefly reflect on the important things Fred mentioned in this clip. And there are three reasons I feel I need to do this now:
1. I am participating in the CMC11 MOOC which starts tomorrow.
2. We are developing an open access module (Flexible, Distant and Online Learning) to be offered in January 2012.
3. Our next cohort starts the PGCAP programme this week.
Fred’s video clip has the title ‘Learning is changing’. We take it as a fact today that learning has changed and is constantly changing. I would like to stop for a few minutes and freeze time and am asking myself and you “Is learning changing?” If somebody would ask you today, now, what would you say? Please add your comments to this post.
- Yes, we live in the Digital Age.
- Yes, we know how to use the technology.
- Yes, we have the digital gadgets in our pockets.
- Yes, content is everwhere and we can access it anytime, anywhere, anyhow.
- Yes, what we know is increasingly less important than to know where to find things.
- Yes, we are constantly engaged in learning.
- Yes, we can connect with others on a massive scale and learn together, wherever we are, whatever we want to learn.
I think it would be useful to ask now: “Who is WE???”
– Is WE, all, everybody, every person on our blue planet?
– Are WE inclusive or exclusive, when we talk about WE?
Think about all the people who live today and haven’t experienced the Digital Age (yet)… for a variety of reasons.
I am wondering, what each of us could do to influence change through disruptive innovation (maybe? and thinking outside-the-box?) in our microworlds that has the power to transform practice in the macroworld and put ALL learners in the driving seat… How can we all become free-range learners of the digital age???
I am am asking my fellow MOOCers, colleagues and students on the PGCAP, but also the wider community.