MOOCs Disruptions: Episode Two


MOOCs Disruptions: Episode Two

On Mar 6, 2013, I posed the following question and received these responses from my #Etmooc colleagues.

As #etmooc winds down, and I have just begun to sprout my digital wings, do I get drawn back into the nether-land of ‘old school’ or do I keep flying up and out to Open??”

Erin LuongMar 6, 2013

Open, open, Share, Share

Charmaine GroomMar 6, 2013

+janet webster please carry the ‘open’ message forward!

Alan SmithMar 6, 2013

I honestly think it is transformative and you will seek more… Because to do this ETMOOC is a pure example of self motivated PD and community involvement with no strings. Quite remarkable really.

Susan AngelMar 6, 2013

Yes, I agree with Alan. It is remarkable that we participate because we all want to. Nobody has mandated this. Yes, let’s keep being open and share.

Christina HendricksMar 7, 2013

Also agree with Alan. Once I started really connecting on twitter and blogs through etmooc I’ve found so many resources, so much help, and so many new people I want to keep connecting with that I can’t imagine going back to old school.

Jim StaufferMar 7, 2013

Keep flying.  You’ve taken the red pill.  You can never be contained by the Matrix anymore.  Find someone in the “old nether-land of school” who is willing to join you in exploring more.  I don’t know if this experience can be explained, but it can be demonstrated, shared.  I think that’s how it spreads.

Fenella OlynickMar 7, 2013

I agree, Alan. Well put!



“Transformative”, thank you Alan! The connectivist experience of #etmooc has opened my eyes to the possibilities of expanding my circles of digital collaboration and the digital learning experiences of my students in my English classes. The larger and more difficult task is that of assisting my workplace colleagues share some of the same perspectives I have gained. A recent positive step has been taken with my Department’s 5 year Academic Plan and its commitments to increasing online offerings and integrating technology in course delivery. My tech resource ‘feeds’ in the past 8 years are finally beginning to take root concurrent with our new senior leadership’s agenda of institution-wide tech integration. Recently, a colleague, an MIT alumnus, sent me a link to a webcast  by MIT President, L. Raphael Reif who speaks of an online tsunami as an inevitable reality for universities. Dr. Reif’s responses to questions include thoughts on current EdX MOOCs- as-giant – laboratories (125 M. Learners), researching transformative learning practices- Big Data- which will be used by the institution to forge future MOOC prototypes as integral to the MIT Brand. From my readings so far, MOOCs are not sharing their data with the public because the investments associated with running the MOOCs will ultimately need returns to the host institutions. As MIT has pioneered the MOOC, it is well positioned for future trends of blending campus and online course offerings to large audiences. I find Dr. Reif’s comments about MIT’s online course delivery as enriching to the campus experience encouraging, and I also note his comment about classroom experiences changing as a result of online content delivery advancements. University presidents should be positioned for such changes, he cautions.

From a personal perspective, the disruptions to my thinking include exploring methods of branching out of my LMS Moodle space. To this end, I have begun this public blog and will use my writing and shared resources to assist my colleagues; my blog will also serve as a resource for my students. Before #etmooc, I was reluctant to have a public profile. Now, I intend to maintain my #etmooc connections (Google+ Circles, Twitter chats, Skype, blog hubs) and hopefully continue to share resources and carry on conversations about edtech and the changing landscape of course delivery in higher education and K-12. Having been exposed to the levels of tech integration in K-12 (Check out Adventures in a Gifted Classroom by Bryan Jackson in BC and this 7th grader’s PLE on You Tube), I realize that many universities have even more catching up to do so that students can progress rather than regress when they enter as undergrads. Inspired by etmooc colleagues, I am putting forward an introductory course outline on Digital Literacy within my department, and hope I can also teach the course; although, the process of getting a course approved through to the Senate level is 1.5 years. I am also my Division’s Rep on the AP&P Subcommittee on Learning Technology and need to come up with ideas to assist the university in more sharing of current tech integration practices. Connectivism is the key to sharing and idea generation while ‘Open’ is the pathway. The closed (password protected) platforms such as Sharepoint currently used by my university limit interdisciplinary or trans -institutional collaboration and keep the university silos intact. Of course, in an environment where diminishing public funds are re-allocated and/or re-purposed to competing divisions and departments, a spirit of openness is often difficult to foster. The twin forces of ‘open’ and ‘closed’ compete. I will seek more opportunities in my track toward open education; I have already begun discussion of continuing on the foundations of the current etmooc  (see Sherry Hegstrom’s wiki  ) and I have signed up for another MOOC for the remainder of my March PD. My summer  2013 English courses will reflect my MOOC education; continued commitment to using the internet as my course textbook, blogging as a function of connected learning and writing development, incorporating media skills, increasing use of multimedia  along with text (storifying concepts), learning about digital citizenship and digital literacy, using digital storytelling strategies with my literature content (very excited about this!!!), mash-ups and copyright /copyleft issues, and probably many more ‘things’ for a lack of a better word at the moment. My ‘Eyes Wide Open’ as a result of the expertise of #etmooc conspirators, and I intend to stay a-float in this virtual world. So, yes-to answer my own question, I will be flying out and up to ‘Open’.

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