On Swimming and the Miscellaneous

On Swimming

I can’t swim.  It is one my biggest regrets in life.  I have tried to take lessons as an adult and I am now an adequate floater and can thrash around quite a bit to move around but I am not a graceful swimmer with elegant strokes that cut through the water.  But here in ETMOOC, I have had to dive into the deep end.  Not just a small dive with knees tucked, but an ugly belly flop with my eyes tightly closed.  But by diving right in, I have been forced to navigate through a sea of blog posts, twitter comments, and Blackboard Collaborate sessions.  I have to admit, I might not be graceful in swimming through this sea but I am starting to enjoy it.  My favourite thing so far is the Blackboard Collaborate sessions.  I love hearing the speakers and being able to see everyone’s ideas on the whiteboard.  The topics have been thought provoking and make my head hurt in a good way. 
On Sharing
This week’s session with Dean Shareski (@shareski) left me with many key points to ponder.  The one that I took back to my classroom with me and immediately shared with my Grade 6’s was that sharing is a responsibility in learning.  Even though we have touched on this topic may times in the class, some students still feel that others look at their work to “copy.”  We discussed sharing versus copyright of original materials and how all good ideas begin by a spark from someone else’s idea. 
On Accountability
One idea that has not left my mind is that in Finnish, there is no word for “accountability” and instead the word “responsibility” is used.  This made me think about the mandatory FSA (Foundation Skills Assessment) Tests that are being administered this week at my school.  Hmmm… Who are we holding accountable with this kind of test and what are the results supposed to lead us to?  These tests, given to the grade fours and sevens, also block off any computer and iPad time from being used by any other classes in the entire school.  We are discouraged from using the internet during these two weeks because it will slow the server down for the testing.  So, we put some of our teaching on hold.  Who is being accountable or responsible for the missed learning here? 
My Goal
I am a lurker.  I have been lurking on Twitter without being a true contributer.  I have been absorbing other people’s ideas.  But now I would like to grow and to contribute.  I am on the edge about to change from the lurker to contributer. 
Like the video “Ordinary to You, Amazing to Others”, I, too, feel my ideas are just ordinary, since I am in the company of so many people whose starting point of knowledge in the educational technology world far surpasses mine.  I am so far behind in the starting line that I can’t even see their shadowy figures in the distance.  But, since I will only get out what I put into ETMOOC, I will try to contribute. 
What do I want to get out of ETMOOC?  Learn some new tools to use for digital storytelling, increase my PLN and basically absorb everyone’s ideas and they may lead me to some new goals.  
Wow.  Those are more goals than I thought I had.  Well, I better keep on thrashing through the sea of ETMOOC if I am to achieve any of those goals.  Maybe I will meet you somewhere out there in the great blue beyond.