Reading Rhonda Jessen’s wonderfully reflective anniversary blog has spurred me on to write the final #etmooc blog that never came to fruition, despite a tremendous desire to write and my immense guilt at not doing so. At the very time #etmooc ended, my mother ended up critically ill with cancer, and my priorities changed. Consequently, I am now thrilled that I can officially thank those ‘conspirators’ that changed my life in a multitude of ways.
Knowledge, Tools and Advocacy
I should briefly recap how my life has changed since #etmooc. For starters, I now have enough knowledge on some of the wonderful things happening in education, with respect to technology and social media, that I can truly ruffle feathers in the workplace, or more specifically, at the school board level. For example, after being encouraged to blog for #etmooc (thanks Sue Waters for the great blogging sessions and tips), I promoted the idea of using WordPress for our school newsletter. The new format is extremely user friendly, allows for videos and a personal touch, and promotes interaction and collaboration on many levels. Way better! The only downside is that the district still PDFs our school newsletters for the district web page, due to policy regarding Facebook – Facebook is not fully supported, and our newsletter links to the Facebook page (yes, guess who’s partly responsible for that too). My hope is that 2014 will see our newsletters go live at the district level… yes, another side effect of #etmooc is advocating for change (or perhaps annoying others enough so that it will eventually happen). I must say that Alec Couros and George Couros keep me hopeful. Advocating for change seems to be their mission.
Connections and Learning: My Amazing PLN
Thanks to #etmooc, professional development has become a daily activity that I no longer ‘plan’ to do. Instead, it has become an ingrained daily ritual that I do without even realizing it (I sure notice its absence during those rare times when it’s not possible). My amazing Twitter PLN that resulted from #etmooc – I was a Twitter newbie at the beginning of the MOOC – keeps me inspired, interested and intrigued about what is possible in education. As far as I’m concerned, Twitter, or Pro-D that teachers can actually do in PJs, is an opportunity for connecting and learning that I hugely underestimated until I participated in #etmooc. Thank you Alison Seaman and Jeff Merrill, two of the most encouraging, genuine, and thoughtful #etmooc ‘conspirators,’ for your continued support, and especially for your tips with managing the chats (or what seems like Twitter on fast forward some nights)! Also, I truly appreciate the many #etmooc participants who have been so supportive and encouraging. You all rock!
#etmchat This chat is surreal. It’s like talking about old highschool days. The connections. The shared memories. Really something special.
— Alec Couros (@courosa) January 15, 2014
A Change in Attitude and Thinking
Probably the biggest change I have experienced as a result of #etmooc is a change in attitude. I am now much less concerned about rigidly protecting my privacy (something that held me back from fully engaging on the Web and using the multitude of tools, apps, forums, etc.), but instead I choose to have the go forth, try and explore (wisely, of course) attitude. This attitude allows me to participate and engage, learn, and be a maker and creator, and this is evident in my teaching and workplace. However, I’m still procrastinating on my Vlog for Al Levine. Sorry Al, I truly enjoyed your Digital Storytelling session – nobody can tell a story quite like you! I must add that Alec Couros, Audrey Watters, Verena Roberts and Bonnie Stewart helped me to better understand digital citizenship, digital literacy and open education. Furthermore, Catherine Cronin has been a tremendous role model and advocate for women in the field of science and technology. Thank you, Catherine, for reminding us all to do our part in promoting the fact that everybody can, and should, learn about computer science and coding.
Thank you, Alec and ‘conspirators’! Do you see what you’ve done to me? This is just a brief glimpse at a few areas of growth in my life over the past year. Imagine the infographic that would be generated if I identified everybody with whom I’ve interacted in an educationally significant way, with respect to technology and media; interactions that would not have been possible prior to #etmooc! It has been an honour to be able to walk through the doors of the Internet and learn together in this very special #etmooc community.
Thank you #ETMOOC!
— Jan Web (@JanWeb3) January 15, 2014
— postetmooc (@postetmooc) January 15, 2014
— Alec Couros (@courosa) January 1, 2014