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Week 1

January 22, 2013

My Introduction Video

Lori’s Diigo Library

Essential Question for week 1:

What is a Connectivist MOOC?

I found the meaning for the acronym MOOC in an article called Massively Open Online Courses Are ‘Here to Stay’ by Tanya Roscoria. I learned that MOOCs began on college campuses in 2008, were offered to anyone, and free of charge. I also learned that there are two types. xMOOCs focus more on content mastery, while Connectivist MOOCs focus more on social learning. Our diffimooc, used for this class is a Connectivist MOOC. According to Roscoria (2012), 3 Reasons Why People Take Massiely Open Online Courses are: to gain access to high-quality courses at no cost, to experiment with something new, and to gain independence.

The Connectivist MOOC model, was developed by George Siemens, Stephen Downes, and Dave Cormier in 2008 (Roscoria, 2012). According to Downes (2012), “Learning is the creation and removal of connections between the entities, or the adjustment of the strengths of those connections.” In this class we use diigo or other social bookmarking tool to collect and share resources. We also have our blogs, wiki, google group, and twitter. The collection, organization, sharing, and reorganizing information in order to make sense of knowledge seems to be the main idea of a Connectivist MOOC.

In an article entitled Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age by George Siemeons (2005) I learned how the half-life of knowledge is shrinking. He writes, “The amount of knowledge in the world had doubled in the past 10 years and is currently doubling every 18 months according to the American Society of Training and Documentation (ASTD).” The article explains how the increase in the amount of available knowledge creates a need to link individual and organizational learning. People are more likely today to change jobs or professions than they were in the past. These changes generally require new skills. This may be one reason why MOOCs are becoming popular. They allow people to access information they need, are free, and mess with busy schedules.

The link below will take to to three videos in which Dave Cormier, Stephen Downes, and George Siemeons give explanations about MOOCs. I found it because someone in my class shared it on Twitter.

What is a Connectivist MOOC?

What are the characteristics I will need to be successful in a MOOC?

I have a poster that often hangs in my classroom that says, “Attitude is a small thing that can make a big difference.” This is so true.

Be Positive: I am looking forward to learning new things.

Learn to use new tools: Tools such as Twitter, tweetdec, twubs, diigo, google group, blogging and the wiki. The tools for this social learning environment are very new to me. I am working hard to become more proficient with them.

Establish  a PLN: A professional Learning Network. Getting to know the tools has really helped with this. I can now interact with people on twiiter, the google group, or by reading and responding to blogs. I am learning how to do the follow in both twitter and blogs. One thing I learned is that if I use my gmail account, it links well to the google group. I’m sure I will get better as time goes on.

Ask Questions: Just when I was beginning to think twitter really was for the birds, I had a couple major breakthroughs in understanding that took away some of my frustration and allowed me to be more excited about it. I had someone tell me that tweetdeck is a separate download from twitter and also told me about twubs. I found that twubs worked very well for the live tweet.

Patience – I want it all to work right now! I remember having a math teacher who would talk to us almost every class about the value of the struggle and the importance of being able stick with something. Of course he is right, but it is harder to concede the point when you are the one struggling.  This seems like one big problem solving adventure!

Open Mind: This is all very different from anything I have ever done before. I have had to clear out any previous expectations I may have had for this class and make way for new understandings. I am not a digital native, so things that might seem obvious to some are brand new for me. I also realize that I need to open to change, because students today have different needs and ways of learning. They will need different, and/or additional skills than what have been taught in traditional educational settings.

The short video clip shows Ian Jukes talking about digital children and their needs.

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6 Comments
  1. Dear Lori,

    Congrats on your comprehensive and detailed post. I love your comparison between xMOOC and cMOOC. Actually, I had a Coursera course about Gamification last year on Sept-Oct and found it very great but as you said it focused on content mastery. We watched some short videos, took quizzes, completed assignment, … etc. Diffimooc is a different experience in which we can experiment new things more openly and massively, interact more and create networks using an awesome tool like Twitter or Google + (It is my recommendation). I feel that we will enjoy this experience so much.

    You also suggested a very great list of characteristics that people need to succeed in MOOCs. I totally agree that attitude plays a fundamental role in such open courses. Being positive and open will help newbies to get involved. Asking questions is a the key, I guess. I saw a tweet by one of our colleagues here talking about this issue feeling sorry about that. I think that asking questions is part of our learning process.

    Thanks so much for sharing your ideas, videos, diigo library and your video.
    All the best!

    • Thank you for your encouraging words. It has been quite a journey to get to this point. Lots to learn.
      Lori

  2. Thank you so much. I enjoyed reading your blog. I am going to make a sticky note with the attitude quote on it. I needed to read that, as well as your characteristics.

  3. Lori – yes, when I was first learning twitter I thought it was for the birds too! Thankfully, tweets can only be 140 characters long! You have already come across some excellent sources early in the course – this will be easier once you start learning to use twitter more and following more people on diigo. I think social media and social bookmarking has made me a lazy researcher – I always go to twitter an diigo first when I’m looking for something to see if anyone I follow has already found something good. Hang in there – after awhile it won’t feel like a struggle anymore – you’ll be coasting!

    • Thanks Tracie. It is a whole different mind set – it still feels a little like cheating – looking at other people’s stuff.
      Great way to collaborate. I am loving the info.

  4. Hello.This post was extremely fascinating, especially because I was searching for thoughts on this subject last Monday.

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