I am two weeks into my first ever MOOC – Massive (Gargantuan, Humongous, Ginormous) Open On-line Course (Community?) and I’m looking for signs of learning.
I signed up for this course, a newbie on Twitter, to learn more about digital tools. I wanted to learn about how to help my students become “connected learners”. I hoped that the mysterious Twitterverse would begin to make more sense to me; I wanted to learn about Digital Storytelling, VoiceThread and Google Docs.
I am getting SO MUCH MORE than I bargained for!
Yes, I have learned how to use Google Docs – today my students and I created our very first Google Survey for our unit on Data Management (we tweeted it, we emailed it, I think I should probably post it on Facebook – we can’t wait to start reading the results!) I am using Twitter regularly to connect with other educators, I have even been using TweetDeck to manage the lists and hashtags I am following! I’m getting in there and tweeting, no longer just a lurker. Last week, I created a Twitter account for my class! We are now looking for other mid-level classes to follow (@SixesRSuper).
I’ve got a Diigo account to collate, high-light and annotate my e-reading material, and I’ve signed on to Google Reader to help manage all of the amazing educational blogs I’ve been following – so much simpler!
But that is not what I’m excited about. I’m excited because I’ve discovered there is a WHOLE BIG WORLD out there that has welcomed me, that I am a part of, a world of other passionate excited educators who want to collaborate with ME! That amazes me…
After I clicked the submit button, and signed on for this MOOC, I went to Youtube to get an idea of what I had signed on for. I found this video by Dave Cormier. At the time, I was doubtful that it could happen the way Dave portrayed in the video.
But much to my delight, it happened! I have met wonderful and inspiring educators that I have connected with. Together, thanks to Sheri Edwards, we are a neighbourhood.
I have learned how to learn from other educators just like myself. I wanted to learn how to “connect” my students, I learned also how to “connect” myself.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!
I am not just learning HOW to connect by WHY connect. I never anticipated how much THINKING I would be doing in this MOOC!
On his blog, Dave Cormier writes this about learning:
(It is) “Not a series of remembered ideas, reproduced for testing, and quickly forgotten. But something flexible that is already integrated with the other things a learner knows. Most things that we value ‘knowing’ are not things that are easily pointed to. Knowing is a long process of becoming (think of it in the sense of ‘becoming an expert’) where you actually change the way you perceive the world based on new understandings. You change and grow as new learning becomes part of the things you know.”
As defined by Dave, I AM LEARNING.
Last week, I was sent a link to a blog post entitled:
Let’s Stop Talking about Teaching with Technology, and Start Talking about Teaching by Krista Moroder.
Basically, she reminds us that good pedagogy should always be our focus. Technology is only the tool that helps good educators do their jobs even better. I would now change the title of this post to: Let’s Stop Talking about Teaching with Technology, and Start Talking about Learning with Technology.
I don’t recall anyone actually using the term “pedagogy” in this MOOC, but really, all of the conversation that has taken place is NOT about technology but about pedagogy. I’ve been thinking about pedagogy in ways I never thought about it before. I have been examining why and how we get our students to collaborate. I’ve been considering whether education should be a “bazaar or a cathedral”, I’ve been thinking about whether we are growing “consumers or creators” and tonight my brain is on fire thinking about how a rhizome can be a metaphor for learning! “Learning is about preparing for uncertainty” – now really, that is a game changer, isn’t it?