Topic #5: Digital Citizenship – Identity, Footprint, & Social Activism


cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by courosa

Well, it’s been an amazing experience, but the #etmooc community is about to commence on the final scheduled topic, Digital Citizenship. Over the next two weeks, we’re hoping to have people participate in re/defining what Digital Citizenship is, and what it means for children and adults. The term has been around for quite some time, and has taken on a number of subtopics and meanings (Ribble’s Nine Elements is a notable example). We encourage #etmooc’ers to take on some or all of these topics, or to develop their own. In terms of our scheduled events, these will focus mostly on the facets of identity, footprint, and social activism.

EVENTS:

  1. To kick things off, there will be a general Digital Citizenship presentation facilitated by Alec Couros on March 18, 7pm Eastern time. Connect in Blackboard Collaborate at http://couros.ca/x/connect.
  2. As per usual, our Twitter Chats will be held on Wednesdays (March 20 & 27) at 7pm  Eastern. Watch the @etmooc account and the #etmchat hashtag.
  3. On March 25th, we are very fortunate to have Bonnie Stewart join us to facilitate a session titled, “Digital Identities: Who are we in a Networked Public?”. This session will also take place in Blackboard Collaborate at http://couros.ca/x/connect.

Those will be the ‘officially’ planned events. However, because this is near the end of #etmooc, we’d love to see participant-led Google Hangouts (or other events) organized or streamed. For instance, it would be great to see a participate-led panel organized that focuses on questions such as, “What does it mean to be a citizen today?” and “How do we foster such citizens in our educational institutions?”. Is there anyone willing to take this on? Send out a tweet, get a few people organized, choose a time, and let us know (tweet @courosa). I’ll add any such events to the #etmooc Calendar.

It would also be nice to have a bit of a closing event for the #etmooc experience. We’d absolutely LOVE your thoughts on this. If you have ideas, please tweet them with #etmooc.

ASSIGNMENTS:
We have a few suggested assignments for this topic.

#etmooc Summary of LearningCreate a final ‘summary of learning’ artefact reflecting on what you have learned during your time in #etmooc. Choose an appropriate digital tool or mode (a blog post, screencast, video, image, etc), and reflect on your learning. When you’re done, tweet the link to your work using the #etmetc hashtag (note: it’s one we haven’t used before) and/or post it in the Google Community. We’d like to eventually collect all of the artefacts here. If you are looking for inspiration, take a look at these student ‘Summaries of Learning‘ collected from undergrad and graduate level courses (scroll down). These links go back several years so there are many examples to view.

If you are not sure where to start with this assignment, here are some prompt questions.

  • Think back on your time in #etmooc and share your final thoughts about the ideas and the people you have connected with.
  • What have you created or curated?  What tools did you try?
  • How are you making/have you made  your learning visible?
  • What goals did you have when you began #etmooc ?  How did those change or evolve over the last 10 weeks?
  • How do you plan on staying connected to the people and the ideas?
  • Imagine that Twitter goes away. How would this connected network of #etmooc endure or stay connected? What would you do?
  • How have you changed as a digital educator and citizen? How do you see yourself (your identity) now?

Six Word Stories: Prior to the March 27th #etmchat, we’d like all participants to think about and create a 6-word-story related to the following question, “What does it mean to be an educator and digital citizen? What is our special role?”

During the chat we will start by asking people to share their 6-word-stories. We hope that this will inspire insight to deepen our discussion. For the remainder of the chat, we will focus on questions such as “What themes do we see?”, “What inspires us?”, and “How do we move forward?”. As a final #etmchat, we hope that we not only share insight into the topic, but thoughts on how we can move forward together, as a community of practice.

#etmooc Supports A Cause: As mentioned in the very first #etmooc session, a possibly great outcome of developing this community would be to utilize our collective networks/power to identify and support a common cause or charity. If there are people with thoughts on how we could make this happen, let’s start this conversation and quickly move to action. This could be really wonderful, but we’ll need a lot of help on this one.

RESOURCES:
As always, we’d love you to share your resources with us in our #etmooc Diigo Group. We’ve also shared a few below that may be of interest.

We’re really looking forward to the next two weeks!

~your #etmooc co-conspirators

Topic #4: The Open Movement – Open Access, OERs & Future of Education


cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by courosa

Welcome to topic #4!

Over the next two weeks we hope to support your thinking and creativity around the very BIG and nebulous topic of ‘The Open Movement’. So what exactly is the Open Movement? Well, it’s not one thing. Rather, the Open Movement is an umbrella term that describes a number of overlapping and interrelated movements that, collectively, support the idea of a free and open society in the Arts, Education, government, computing/code, research, technology, medicine, copyright/copyleft, and other key areas. Over the next two weeks, we will  focus (mostly) on the Open Education piece of this movement but, as always, feel free to move well beyond what we provide.

To get you thinking, here are a few suggested activities:

  1. Check out some of the Wikipedia articles around the Open Movement. See The Open Source Movement vs. The Free Software Movement (see tension between ‘Open’ & ‘Free’), The Free Culture Movement, Open Education, Open Access, Open Educational Resources and Open Government. Follow primary sources, read, write, synthesize, and share back to #etmooc. You will likely see that ‘open’ is much more than making something freely available on your website. There are deep philosophical, political, and pragmatic ideas embedded in each of these movements. What are the benefits? What are the tensions? What are the critiques? What does an open future look like? And, will it happen?
  2. Consider watching RIP: A Remixer’s Manifesto. It’s a full-length documentary available for free at Archive.org (read here about Archive.org – it’s a great resource). The documentary follows the life of remix artist Gregg Gillis (aka Girl Talk) and discusses the issues around fair use, copyright/copyleft, and remix. Near the end, the documentary bridges into the concept of free culture as it applies to Brazil’s favelas.  It would be great if #etmooc’ers shared their thoughts about the film in their own blogs or our Google Plus communityPerhaps we could even arrange an #etmooc synchronous screening and live Twitter chat if people are interested?
  3. For Higher Education participants in particular, I would strongly recommend viewing David Wiley‘s Keynote Presentation, Openness, Disaggregation, and the Future of Education (slides available here). Where does open education fit into what we do as educators and scholars? If you are in agreement that universities ought to be more open, how do we support this? For instance, if we support open access research, should we boycott locked-down academic journals?
  4. Watch Larry Lessig’s Talk Laws That Choke Creativity. Near the end of the talk, at 17:36, Lessig discusses how current copyright laws may affect our kids (“… ordinary people live life against the law, and that’s what we are doing to our kids … they live life knowing they live it against the law”). How important is copyright reform? How do we achieve a balanced approach for both consumers & creators, especially in a world where the distinction between these two groups is hardly noticeable.
  5. Do you have a story of openness that you’d like to share? If so, please consider supporting Alan Levine’s “True Stories of Openness” project found at: http://stories.cogdogblog.com. View some of stories already submitted, considering submitting your own, and share the resource with others.  This is a powerful project, and a wonderful way to promote and share the benefits of openness.

Additionally, we welcome you to suggest your ideas for readings, viewings, activities, etc. in your blog, on Twitter, or in our Google Plus Community. We look forward to your recommendations. Thanks for your help in defining this topic for other #etmooc’ers.

Synchronous Sessions for this Topic

We’ve intentionally lined up this particular topic with Open Education Week (March 10-15, 2013). One of the goals of #etmooc is to create awareness and promote open learning opportunities. We hope that you’ll participate in Open Education Week events and webinars and report them back to #etmooc in whatever way you choose.

Here’s an outline of what we’re offering for the first week of this topic (be sure to consult or subscribe to the calendar for your time zone information or to keep track of additions/changes):

  • On Tuesday March 5 (7pm Eastern), Alan Levine returns to #etmooc (live from Tokyo this time) to offer the session True Stories of Openness. Alan would love if you took the time to review http://stories.cogdogblog.com before the session (the resource mentioned above). This will allow for deeper discussion during the session. This session will be facilitated via Blackboard Collaborate – connect here.
  • On Thursday March 7 (1pm Eastern), we’re hosting an Open Education panel. This session will be broadcast on this Youtube channel, and #etmooc’ers can participate by using the #etmooc hashtag on Twitter. (read up on some of the panelists)
  • On Sunday March 10 (7pm Eastern), we’re hosting a similar Open Education panel, however, this particular panel will be more K-12 focused (panelists are K12 educators). This session will be broadcast on this Youtube channel, and #etmooc’ers can participate by using the #etmooc hashtag on Twitter. (read up on some of the panelists)
  • On March 6 & March 13 (both 7pm Eastern) we’ll be hosting our weekly Twitter chat sessions. Remember to watch for and use the #etmchat tag.
  • We’re working on adding another panel on the Future of Open Education for March 11 – however, we haven’t yet confirmed with the panelists. Look for details on the #etmooc Calendar and in the Twitter stream on the 11th.

We will not be offering any #etmooc specific sessions for this topic after March 11. Instead, as stated above, we’re suggesting that #etmooc’ers participate in the Open Education Week webinars (see schedule of events here). Please notice that ‘light blue’ events are face-to-face events, while the others are all openly available on the web. I am told that most of the sessions will be hosted in Blackboard Collaborate, so this should be familiar to our #etmooc crew.

Open Education is an incredibly important topic, and I hope that we can engage in this topic together, and share our learning with others.

Thanks to everyone who continues to share and support #etmooc. It’s been an incredible journey.

“Open Education is the simple and powerful idea that the world’s knowledge is a public good and that technology in general and the Worldwide Web in particular provide an extraordinary opportunity for everyone to share, use, and reuse knowledge.” ~The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

And, finally, a few more resources to get you thinking:

K12 Open Movement: http://openlearningonline.wikispaces.com
K12 Open Ed: http://www.k12opened.com/
K12 OER Live Binder:http://www.livebinders.com/play/play/632119
Creative Commons :http://creativecommons.org/
Stephen Downes – MOOCs and OER’s

Special thanks to Verena Roberts, Laura Hilliger, and Alison Seaman who are doing an enormous amount of work behind the scenes.

Topic #3: Digital Literacy – Information, Memes & Attention


cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by courosa

Over the last two weeks, we’ve been heavily immersed in digital storytelling. In the initiating post, suggestions were provided for developing and thinking about digital stories, and we’ve been so happy with the ensuing conversation. Now, we’re going to dive into another topic that will require you to think deeply about how we attain knowledge and about our relationships with/in the digital world.

There have been numerous studies which examine the nuances among differing definitions of so-called new literacies (Pinto, Cordon, & Gomez Diaz, 2010). Since the first use of the term “information literacy” in 1974 (Pinto et al., 2010), varying terminology has been used to define the ability to find, analyze and use information in a changing knowledge landscape (Pinto et al., 2010). In recent years, many academics have added a social and cultural layer to the definition of these literacies.
Terminology used for these literacies include “information literacy”, “digital literacy”, “technological literacy”, “computer literacy”, “media literacy”, “communication literacy”, “internet literacy” and other ambiguous terms.

As Doug Belshaw points out in his doctoral thesis (2011), these terms “do not have the necessary explanatory power, or they become stuck in a potentially-endless cycle of umbrella terms and micro literacies,” (p. 200). Belshaw makes an impressive case for ditching the semantic argument and focusing on the improvement of educational practice. He also suggests that the term “literacy” is too binary and that in the context of digital or web skills the plural “literacies” should be used to show that in these realms there are no ‘literate’ or ‘illiterate’, but rather degrees of literacy (Belshaw, 2011). Perhaps those who experienced our last topic on Digital Storytelling may agree.

So over the next two weeks, we will be exploring what it means to be digitally literate. We’ve invited some amazing thinkers including Doug BelshawHoward RheingoldWill Richardson, and Audrey Watters to lead us through certain aspects of this topic (see the Calendar for specific dates and times). And, as always, we’re hoping that the #etmooc community will participate through writing and commenting in our collective blog spaces, using the #etmooc hashtag on Twitter, in our Google Plus Community, and in other spaces of choice.

Here are some questions to get you started. Feel free to respond in any format you like (blogpost, tweet conversation, Google+ Community thread, digital story, video blog, etc.)

  • What does it mean to be digitally literate? 
  • What is the difference between being digital literate and web literate?
  • How does digital literacy relate to participatory culture?
  • What digital competencies and skills do your learners demonstrate through their daily use of technology?
  • What digital competencies and skills are required by our emerging knowledge economy/age?
  • What are the differences between digital literacy and digital fluency?
  • What is the role of attention within the spectrum of 21st century literacies?
  • What are the problems inherent in defining literacy, fluency, skills, and competency today (e.g., using terms like 21st century literacies, digital fluency), and how do these affect curricular development, pedagogy, and the work of teachers and students?

Take up any of these questions, or find and explore others. Let’s take this opportunity to go deep over the next two weeks. We look forward to the conversation!

References
Belshaw, D. (2011). What is “digital literacy”? Durham University. Retrieved from http://neverendingthesis.com/doug-belshaw-edd-thesis-final.pdf

Pinto, M., Cordon, J. A., & Gomez Diaz, R. (2010). Thirty years of information literacy (1977–2007): A terminological, conceptual and statistical analysis. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 42(1), 3–19.

Introduction to Topic #2: Digital Storytelling

Topic 2: Digital Storytelling
Dates: February 3-16, 2013
Hashtag: #etmooc

 

WHAT WE’RE DOING & WHY

For the next two weeks, we’ll be creating stories. Digital stories. We’ve created a number of tasks for every level of learner. If you’ve never composed a story, get started with a Six Word Story. If you want to play around with video, try creating a web native film. If you want to try telling a visual story, consider making an animated gif. Create stories using the method you want to explore — a variety of tasks are built into this week at a variety of levels of experience.

A QUICK WORD ABOUT COPYRIGHT & COPYLEFT: SLIGHTLY LEGAL STUFF

Because copyright is a concern for many people, but also a topic that spans throughout digital work, we wanted to point you to some information on Creative CommonsFair Use (US, other) and Fair Dealing (Commonwealth).

There are sites that only search copyleft licensed materials. Copyright is a complicated issue, but basically, give credit where credit is due, don’t try to sell the stuff you make through unauthorized uses, and be aware when you are using someone else’s work in your stories. During Topic 4 (Mar 3-16), we’ll be spending more, supportive time chewing over the implications of copyright.

INTRODUCTION TO DIGITAL STORYTELLING:

“The truth about stories is, that’s all we are.” ~Thomas King

Storytelling is something that human beings have been doing for hundreds of thousands of years. It is a natural way for us to communicate. Nowadays, we keep hearing the term “digital storytelling”, which can sound confusing. But the important part of the term is “storytelling”—the digital piece really mostly means that the story is either created or accessible via digital technologies. Because of that, digital stories can be easily commented upon, shared, and remixed using the participatory strategies you’ve been practicing already in #etmooc.

Digital Storytelling often involves video, but it can involve other media too. A more text-based example is the game Twitter vs. Zombies (#TvsZ), developed and facilitated in November 2012 by Jesse Stommel and Pete Rorabaugh to teach Twitter literacy. You can scan the rules here. #TvsZ demonstrates how a game can create a framework for emergent storytelling by the participants. #TvsZ was designed to “teach” particular “skills” (social media networking, collaboration, use of hashtags, blog promotion, etc.), but it ended up creating a connected narrative that the players made up as they went (examples on the #TvsZ Scoop.It). Breaking information: Twitter vs. Zombies 2.0, built and led by university students in Atlanta, Georgia, and Syracuse, NY, will unfold on Twitter between Wed, Feb 6, 8pmEST, and Fri, Feb. 8, 8pmEST. All ETMOOC participants are invited to play. Click here to register.

Have a quick look at the Wikipedia article on Digital Storytelling and pay special attention to the nuances in the definition of this term. Critically examine the definitions. For example “’Digital storytelling’ is a relatively new term which describes the new practice of ordinary people who use digital tools to tell their ‘story’.” Is that a good definition? Or how about “One can think of digital storytelling as the modern extension of the ancient art of storytelling, now interwoven with digitized still and moving images and sound.” Is this more accurate?

Definitions are a minefield because they can be constraining; the Wikipedia one is very video focused. We like the perspective in “Digital Storytelling: How to Tell a Story That Stands out in the Digital Age” (museum of the future blog) – especially their example of the campaign to save Troy Library (AL):

To address the most important issue first: there is no such thing as digital storytelling. There’s only storytelling in the digital age, and frankly speaking this isn’t much different from storytelling in the age of hunters, gatherers, dinosaurs and ICQ…. Digital is not the difficult part in digital storytelling. Storytelling is.

 

HERE ARE A VERY LIMITED NUMBER OF EXAMPLES OF DIGITAL STORIES:

YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT HAVE TO COMPLETE EVERY TASK!

Below, you’ll find eight tasks for this topic. We don’t even think it’s possible for you to create that many digital stories in just a couple of weeks (feel free to prove us wrong). Perform the tasks that are interesting to you, look at the work of your peers and start exploring Digital Storytelling through creation. Share your stories with the #etmooc tag, blog about your experience, interact through the Google+ Community, and just have fun!

SAMPLE TASKS:


1: Consider Many Forms (Define and Collect)

A good place to start looking at digital storytelling is through definition and example. Blog a reflective post about this introduction to storytelling; you could also reflect on the Wikipedia page on Digital Storytelling mentioned above. Find an example of a digital story and attach it to your post. Engage with the posts of others, or let your reflection tie several of them together. As always, submit the links to your posts in the Google+ community! and on Twitter. If you’re new to ETMOOC, click here to learn how to tie your blog to the ETMOOC Blog Hub

2: Make an animated GIF (Animate)

There are many different software applications that you can use to create an animated GIF. This tutorial uses GIMP, a free and open source software program that is similar to Photoshop, but you can use any image editing software you’re comfortable with.

More resources can be found in this ds106 Handbook http://ds106.us/handbook

Jim Groom and company will be discussing the creation of animated gifs during their session on February 5 at 7pm EST. You can start early or wait until then. Remember: Jim Groom’s session will NOT take place in Blackboard/Elluminate. Instead, tune into DTLT Today for the live show!


3: The Ultimate Challenge (Create)

Write a story, and then tell that same story digitally using any number of digital tools and freely available media! For inspiration and story creation guidance, see Alan Levine’s 50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story.

Alan Levine will be discussing this topic during his session on February 11 at 7pm EST. You can start early or wait until then.


4: Write a Six Word Story (Compose)

Use Twitter, Google+ or another social platform to publish a six word story. Your story can be about anything. Check out the six word stories site (or the twitter stream) for inspiration! You can experiment with Storify to tie other’s tweets together and make a collaborative story (see the collaborative poems that Janine DeBaise‘s students made ast week as an example).

Alan Levine will be discussing six word stories during his session on February 11 at 7pm EST. You can start early or wait until then.


5: Five Card Flickr Stories (Visualize)

Based on the Five Card Nancy card game by Scott McLeod, Five Card Flickr is en exercise in visual storytelling where you are dealt five random images from a Flickr tag (in our case, the tag is 5cardetmooc), and you pick one to be in your story. In the next four rounds you again choose from 5 new random photos with the idea of building a coherent storyline from your five photos. For this week, we set up a special pool of photos in flickr just for #etmooc. We need your help to create this pool — see the set of photo prompts and see what kind of stories we can make of them — or just try it now.


6: Create a PopUp Video of Your Own (Remix)

How can you change a story that already exists and make it your own? Create a PopUp video that changes the context of a story by adding content to it. For a more interactive experience than YouTube comments can offer (and an easier to use interface) try Popcorn Maker. Here’s a “how to” use popup comments to change the context of a video. Share your links via Twitter and G+, comment on your peers’ posts.


7: Plan a “Choose Your Own Adventure Story” (Collaborate)

For inspiration see these great videos.

Draw an object on a piece of paper and then upload it to Flickr, Instagram, your blog — where ever. Then ask a peer to draw a related object. Pass your peer’s drawing on to another peer and have them draw a related object. Keep doing this until you have 5 drawings (including your original object).

Create a story that links the original object with the last object drawn. What is the connection between the first object and the last object? Write a brief story, then try to create multiple pathways that a user could go through the story. Use a mind-mapping tool like MindMeister or a host of others.

This is a loose framework, so feel free to adapt it or try something related. Be sure to share your stories, maps, hierarchies, and story architecture on your blog, but also to Twitter and the Google+ Community if you use those sites. Comment on other people’s plans. Be social!


8: Twitter vs. Zombies 2.0 (Play)

Play Twitter vs. Zombies 2.0 with scores of others on the web from Wednesday, February 6 at 8pmEST, to Friday, Feb. 8 at 8pmEST.  Students from Pete Rorabaugh’s #TechApoc class and Janine DeBaise’s #Nifkin class will moderate the game for the ETMOOC community. The game will begin immediately following the ETMOOC Twitter chat on Feb. 6. Click here to register. Watch your hashtags, and sleep with one eye open.


One final note on tasks . . . you can’t break them or complete them incorrectly. They are simply prompts to get you to explore storytelling in shareable, remixable, collaborative platforms. It may not be that important whether a story you create falls under one category or another; if you’ve shared it and you’re interacting with the stories of others, and learning new narrative frameworks, that’s our goal.

GO DEEPER:

Explore the #ds106 Community

Based on a course offered first at the University of Mary Washington (UMW), ds106 is an open course like no other. In fact, it is not a single course; there are sections offered to registered UWM students, students taking similar courses elsewhere (currently Kansas State University, University of Michigan, York College/CUNY), and a cloud of people who participate on their own interest. The core of ds106 is powered by the syndication bus, a networked architecture built of participants’ own blogs to which our web site subscribes, aggregates, and shares back content published by individuals (same tech as we used in etmooc blog hub). As much community as course, ds106 includes an open assignment bank that participants populate, a daily creative challenge, and even its own internet-based radio station. You can tune in to the show at any time.

Introduction to Web Native Film

Next examine the idea of Web Native Filmmaking. Take some time to watch these six episodes about Web Native Filmmaking (created for a program called Popcorn Story Camp, but they explain many aspects of Digital Storytelling that will help you think creatively about your own stories). Each film is about 3 minutes long.

AND EVEN DEEPER:

There are a gazillion different articles, resources and tools for storytelling. If you haven’t had enough of an intro, here’s a metric ton of stuff to explore: http://www.scoop.it/t/etmooc-topic-2

TOPIC 2: DIGITAL STORYTELLING PLANNING TEAM:

If you have questions about this topic, feel free to contact any members of the Topic 2 team directly (our names are below), or for a quicker response, either send a message on Twitter with the #etmooc hashtag or ask a question in the #etmooc Google+ Community under the Topic 2 Category!

Laura Hilliger
Pete Rorabaugh
Verena Roberts
Alan Levine
Robin Bartoletti

#etmooc Lip Dub!

Well #etmooc, we’ve reached the end of our first topic, Connected Learning. This has been an amazing experience for me, as a facilitator and learner, as I’ve read through so many excellent posts and ideas from our participants. It’s wonderful to see the extent of sharing and support that has resulted through the development of this community. Thank you all!

And, I’m very excited to share our #etmooc crowdsourced #lipdub project! Thanks to a  community vote, a Google Doc, and our tireless editor @stumpteacher, we’ve created something that I feel is so very memorable and representative of this experience. Take a look – I hope you enjoy it.

Of course, what we’ve learned about Connected Learning will continue to guide us through #etmooc – it is core to its structure (or nonstructure). So, I hope that we will continue to contemplate, co-create, study, and live as connected learners.

Our next topic is Digital Storytelling, and an outline of the next two weeks will be shared tomorrow. If you haven’t been able to participate in #etmooc as you had originally intended, do not worry. Tomorrow is a new topic, with a fresh start.

Join in, invite a friend or colleague, and let’s spend the next two weeks discussing, sharing, and creating digital stories.

Connect with you soon.

Alec

Half-way Through Topic 1 (Connected Learning)

We’ve had a really active week with #etmooc so I just wanted to drop a quick note regarding what happened last week, and what’s coming up.

  1. We’ve had 100s of new blogposts re: Connected Learning at the #etmooc hub.
  2. The Twitter stream has been very active! While it’s possible to keep up with the #etmooc hashtag through a web-based Twitter search (or #etmchat for our weekly chats), it’s likely a good time to adopt a tool like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to make information management a lot easier.
  3. We’ve had some really great Blackboard Collaborate Sessions. If you missed them, we’ve posted all of the recorded sessions to the archive.
  4. Sue Waters has written a fantastic post that will help all #etmooc’ers navigate some of our spaces (e.g., Google Plus, Collaborate, Twitter, etc.). Be sure to check it out. Also, I’d strongly recommend Sue’s posts on beginner blogging that was written as a support to the sessions she offered.
  5. We’re on our way to creating a collaborate #lipdub project! The song was chosen, the instructions were sent out, and we’ve already received 58 submissions from participants. We still need a few more, but it looks like we’re on our way! The final project should be released by February 2nd if all goes well.

If people are looking for ideas to write about, I’d like to take this opportunity to once again share the blog prompts that were mentioned in the Introduction to Connected Learning presentation.  These included:

    • What does my PLE/PLN look like? How can I share it?
    • How important is connected learning? Why?
    • Is it possible for our classrooms and institutions to support this kind of learning? If so, how?
    • What skills and literacies are necessary for connected learning? How do we develop these?
    • What are limits of openness in regards to privacy & vulnerability? Are we creating or worsening a digital divide?
    • How do we expand this conversation?

I hope that these are useful. Thanks to everyone who has already responded to these and similar questions, and has helped to move our community forward.

Finally, I wanted to share what’s coming up. This week we have Dave Cormier discussing Rhizomatic Learning, George Couros facilitating a Networked Leadership presentation, and Sue Waters running a session on Blogging with Students. And of course, we have our regularly scheduled Twitter chat mid-week. Check the #etmooc Calendar for details.

Got ideas for sessions, presenters, activities, or formats? Let us know – we’re always looking for new ways to engage participants.

Enjoy the week ahead!

Alec

Moving Forward from Orientation Week

It’s been an amazing week of #etmooc. The experience hasn’t even fully begun, and we already have 1647 registrants, 355 registered blogs, 851+ blog posts, and 1000s of tweets. To get a sense of the global reach of #etmooc in terms of network interactions, take a look at this analysis provided by @marc_smith found below (or view this link for full analysis).

January 18th analysis of #etmooc

For many people, even the more experienced networked learners, MOOCs can be overwhelming. In fact, some posit that complexity is an essential part of the experience. However, I am hoping to provide a bit of guidance and encouragement here to assure you that feelings of ‘being lost’ are common, but through persistence, sense-making, and personal connections, the vast majority of learners can persevere and make great gains through the dissonance and complexity.

Here are a few things that are likely important as we move forward:

First, during this Orientation week, there were several Blackboard Collaborate sessions that were offered and recorded. These include the Welcome & Orientation (slides available here), an Introduction to Twitter, and an Introduction to Social Curation (links go the session recordings). We also ran an Introduction to Blogging, but for some reason, the recording failed. However, @suewaters has kindly agreed to offer a repeat of that session during this coming week (see Calendar). These recordings are here for your convenience, and do remember that all sessions are optional. If you missed the sessions, you can always come back to them when you are ready.

Second, if you haven’t yet joined the #etmooc Google+ Community yet, I strongly recommend doing so as it has already become a great place to share resources and ask questions. For those newer to edtech, I believe that a Google+ Community will be an easier place to navigate and connect with others. There are even specific categories set up for finding a mentor and for Q & A.

Third, if you have a blog, and haven’t yet added it to the #etmooc Blog Hub, Alan Levine has created a straight-forward tutorial to make this process relatively easy. If you are a Google Reader user, I have created a screencast tutorial to guide you through the process of subscribing to #etmooc participant blogs. Important note: Don’t even bother trying to read every single post from every participant in #etmooc. Instead, read, comment on, and share blog posts (e.g., on Twitter, Facebook, or in your own blog) when you come upon ones that interest you. Collectively, we will provide everyone with an audience and an opportunity to be read more widely.

Fourth, if you haven’t yet done your introductory assignment, it is never too late to do so. If you are looking for inspiration, or want to see how others have approached their introductions, search for #etmooc on Youtube and you will see many wonderful examples. Or, you can search for terms such as ‘introduction’ or ‘intro’ on the #etmooc Blog Hub for other great examples. Note: I am not pointing to specific examples here intentionally, as I am hoping that you will discover these through similar search and sharing techniques.

Finally, I want to share a video from #etmooc’er @bhwilkoff titled “#ETMOOC Is Overwhelming. So, Let’s Make Some Meaning.” I think Ben makes some really important points here, and I’ve summarized and expanded upon these below:

  • MOOCs are overwhelming, for everyone, no matter what your experience is with networked learning.
  • There are processes and tools that you can use to filter and curate the vast amounts of information being created and shared, but that’s not the only approach or focus for sense and meaning-making.
  • Connecting with even a few other participants in a MOOC while creating deeper relationships – relationships that last beyond the experience itself – are successes often associated with MOOCs and other forms of networked learning.

#etmooc’s new topic, “Connected Learning: Tools, Processes & Pedagogy” begins today and will run through February 2nd.

Think of today as a fresh start. You are better prepared for that fresh start than you were a week ago. You are more familiar with the #etmooc community, and you have becoming more skilled with and cognizant of the tools and processes necessary for sense-making in a networked environment. Congratulate yourself for making it this far. And, here’s to your continued success and to the growth of our community.

Alec

#etmooc Orientation Week Activity

Greetings everyone!

As you should know by now, #etmooc is an example of a connectivist MOOC (cMOOC). Dave Cormier shared a few relevant characteristics of cMOOCs in this post which include:

  • cMOOCs are not proscriptive, and participants set their own learning goals and type of engagement.
  • cMOOCs are discursive communities creating knowledge together.

These are key characteristics that, once understood, may either reduce or increase anxiety levels of first-time participants. While the organizers will design environments  provide sessions, nurture interactions, and outline activities, the active learner plays a dominant role and choice and autonomy are key.

To further the distinguishing characters among types of MOOCs, Lisa M. Lane has done well to posit three distinct types of MOOCs; networked-based, task-based, and content-based. #etmooc is likely to be more dominantly a networked-based experience, with certainly some aspects of both task-based and content-based types. Of networked-based MOOCs, Lisa writes:

The goal is not so much content and skills acquisition, but conversation, socially constructed knowledge, and exposure to the milieu of learning on the open web using distributed means. The pedagogy of network-based MOOCs is based in connectivist or connectivist-style methods. Resources are provided, but exploration is more important than any particular content.

To network most successfully in a connectivist, networked-based MOOC, a learning identity must be formed, declared, and maintained by each individual. This is partly the rationale behind asking #etmooc participants to use their own blog spaces. This is also, the rationale behind the following task.

We would like you to introduce yourself to #etmooc. Declaring your identity, through letting us know a bit about who you are, will help participants better relate to and connect with you. So, here is what we would like you to do.

  1. Create an introductory post, video, podcast, slideshow, etc., of yourself.  Tell us a little bit about yourself – perhaps, where you’re from, what you do, or what you want to be when you grow up – and let us know what you’d like to gain from #etmooc? A few paragraphs of text, or preferably, a form of visual or auditory media lasting between 30 seconds and 2 minutes is ideal. These are very rough guidelines – feel free to break every one of them if you wish.
  2. Tools & Software – There are many tools you can use. If you have a Google/Youtube account and a webcam, you can record directly to Youtube. If you want to do some simple video editing, iMovie (Mac) or Windows Movie Maker (PC) might do the trick. Or, if a screencast is your choice, Screenr or ScreenCastOMatic are both good, free tools. Maybe you’d like to try digital storytelling? @cogdog has compiled a list of at least 50 tools for that task. Or maybe you want to animate your message with tools like xtranormal or Go Animate. There are countless ways to do this task – but in the end, it’s your story that we want – simple is always good.
  3. Post to your Blog – If you haven’t set up a space for #etmooc because you don’t know how, don’t worry. We’ll help you do that this week. BUT, if you know how to set up your blog, or have one already, please post your introduction and share it with all of us. But first, be sure that you have added your blog to the #etmooc Hub, and if you share to Twitter, but sure to use the #etmooc hashtag in the tweet. As always, if you don’t know how to do any of this stuff, please ask!

In my #eci831 course, I had students take on a similar introductory task. Here are a few, random examples for your viewing.

Thanks for taking on our first challenge! We can’t wait to meet you!

Gearing Up for #etmooc

Below is a copy of an email that should have gone out to all #etmooc participants that were registered by the morning of January 11, 2012. In case you missed it, view the information in its entirety below or view the MailChimp HTML version here. The emailing list will be updated with new registrants before the next weekly email is sent out.

——-

Hello #etmooc’ers!

This is the second official email that has been sent out to #etmooc participants. If you missed the first one (sent January 3), you can find it here. We now have over 1200 participants registered representing 67 countries – take a look! (Apologies that not all participants seem to show up on the map).

Orientation week is right around the corner and we’ll kick off with some sessions using Blackboard Collaborate. The Calendar of events is found here with events displayed in Eastern Time (GMT -05:00). I would suggest subscribing to the Google Calendar if you know how. If you do not, we’ll be covering this and many new skills during the Orientation Week (January 13 to 19). If you miss a session, don’t worry. Attendance is encouraged but not compulsory. And, we’re going to aim for repeat sessions and plan to record all webinar type events.

Now, here’s something important that we will need from you. As mentioned previously, we’re asking all participants to blog during #etmooc so we’ll need to know where we can find you. @cogdog has put together this great tutorial that explains how you can submit your blog address. If you want to use your existing blog for the course, we’ll only need your tag, category, or label link, and that’s well explained in the tutorial. For quick reference, the tutorial and submittal form can be found at: http://bit.ly/etmooc-share-blog.

The first #etmooc session will be held on Monday, 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time in Blackboard Collaborate. All Collaborate sessions will be accessible athttp://couros.ca/x/connect throughout #etmooc. If you have never used Blackboard Collaborate, this page has useful information and will allow you to get set up with the proper system requirements.

#etmooc has an account on Twitter (we’re @etmooc), and we’ve put together several Twitter lists of registered participants. Twitter only allows 500 people in each list so we’ve had to create three (feel free to follow List AList BList C). To share and connect with other participants on Twitter, please use #etmooc in your tweet and it will show up in this Twitter search.

And if you haven’t already, feel free to join the conversation in the #etmooc Google Community.

The organizers of #etmooc are really excited to have so much interest in this community. If you need any help in getting oriented to the experience, we’re never more than a tweet or an email message away.

Meet you all very soon!

Alec

Visualization of Registration

With fewer than 10 days before the launch of #etmooc, we currently have about 680 registrants representing about 37 countries. To provide a sense of what that looks like, I created a rough, mapped visualization using a tool called MapAList. Take a look below at the interactive, zoomable map based on early registration data.

This has already been an incredible, humbling experience, and we haven’t even begun. We’re really looking forward to the connections in the weeks to come!