#EDCMOOC Continuing the Journey

I’m going to have to change my profile page and the About Me section in this blog.
EDCMOOC journey tagxedo
My journey, learning, and experiences throughout this course E-Learning and Digital Cultures, my first MOOC from the University of Edinburgh, has been a truly amazing one. My primary goal was to learn new tools to enhance learning for my students. I know that I have only sampled a few of the wonderful applications available, but I’m on my way! I also learned that I’m not alone in this endeavor to be a better teacher, a better student, a better world citizen. I’ve learned about technological determinism, Utopias and Dystopias, Connectivist Learning Theory, Social Constuctivism, what it means to be human, transhumanism, posthumanism and a myriad of things along the way that I just stumbled upon. What I want to point out here in this blog, is that the quality of my experience in this course could not, would not have happened were it not for the connections that I’ve made, my Fraingers, Friends/Strangers, a word coined by my fellow Moocmate, Ary

This core group of “peeps” as Laurie calls us in her blog, Broadening the Base,http://lsniestrath.wordpress.com/,has provided valuable insight, encouraged and inspired me in this five week journey. I could have done it without them, but the experience would have been lackluster. I haven’t had this much fun and learned so much in all my 30+ years of teaching.I learned many valuable things to improve my craft, but most of all, I learned something about myself and the process of learning. If our goal as educators is to instill a love of learning and civic responsibility to the young minds entrusted to us, then I suggest we use every tool imaginable to accomplish this task. Connectivist Theory and Social Constructivism seem the appropriate means to that end. With all the possibilities that this digital world of ours provide, we as educators should embrace new technology and teach students how to search, filter, analyze, critique,and create from this sea of information. If we are successful in passing on the skills needed, WE will have created that well informed, rational and moral generation who will boldly go and build a better future. My Final assignment for this course is presented here – My Digital Artefact,

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This work by Willa Ryerson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License


# edcmooc My Scottish MOOC

week 3 The Happening

Here are some thoughts after viewing the 2nd hangout with our tutors. HANG OUT HAPPENING February 15, 2013

Jen gave a few quick announcements regarding the Flickr image competition. That deadline for submission is Sunday the 17th. The page for submitting the final artifact is opening a week early at the request of some students. The deadline for that final assignment is Feb 27th. Jen reminded everyone to take their time, as even if you submit early, the peer review process can’t begin until after the deadline of the 27th. Hamish gave some STATISTICS gleaned from Coursera, GoogleAnalytics and from the Edinburgh survey at the beginning of the course. Coursera’s stats were that of 42,874 total registered- 7,392 were active users during the last 7 days. or 17 %. Outside Coursera- 3,939 visited EDMOOC NEWS. Of that number, 64% of the participants are from the United States and about 8% from the UK. Statistic from the Edinburgh survey show that  50.9% are from the fields of TEACHING and EDUCATION and 7.4 % are STUDENTS

60% of participants have POST GRADUATE degrees./p>

definitely some window shopping going on earlier in the course

SIAN BAYNE  discussed themes of week 3  HUMANISM IN EDUCATION produced a lot of chin stroking.

Some people were critiquing the assumptions of what it means to be human, examining selfhood and the responsibility to others

how technology fails to limit human choice

are we disappearing into the mists of communication?

Is there time to connect?



Christine discussed joining groups She likes the feel of the 60+ group  comfort and respect

Lots of ways to still connect with groups. Some introverts don’t like joining groups.



talks about Steve Fuller and WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN

2 different ways of thinking- NATURE  being part or equal with humanity, embracing the earthy eco systems with animals and humans

Other view is that we are different- UNIQUELY HUMAN and strive to increase our differences with technological enhancements.This view purifies the meaning of being human….  keeping animals and nature separate

Jeremy suggested reading Helena Peddison critical animal studies debate.. the  blurring of the boundary between animal and human suggest we are still having difficulty DEFINING WHAT WE ARE as human….


Evidences of the personal touch in education would be Google Hangouts, video lectures..  humanizing or privileging of presence

Monk, however, says there is a disembodiment in online learning..  you only learn about stuff.

Jim Sweetman critiques Fuller’s assumptions.  We really need to think about the NATURE OF REALITY and how we must PROGRESS.

Haven’t seen much in the discussion forums about the other idea about what is human… about humanity being more in touch with nature and animals

Process of MOOC development was discussed. This MOOC was an institutional Commitment and because the tutors were immersed already in e- learning it was obvious that they should develop this MOOC

JEN ROSS talked about why the team thought a Talking Head style was not the kind of MOOC they wanted. Hamish said that they CONSCIOUSLY CONSTRUCTED  something different.  Wanted to see how this way would develop without the PRIVILEGE of the TEACHING POSITION.  It isn’t a reassuring process  as Steve Fuller put it..: the lecture is an ancient artifice”. wanted some NEW NORMS  lots of different ways to experience a MOOC


First wave of Coursera in the UK

Flip side is the mooc might not be for people who don’t engage.

Hamish likened this mooc to A HAPPENING.   It’s not a course but an EXPERIENCE.

Someone tweeted This MOOC is an ART FORM

There was some discussion of Connectedness after the course ends.   Will people be able to access the Coursera site? Twitter hashtag will continue to be used.  Great that people would like to stay in touch.


Hamish said the tutors are looking for anything CREATIVE.

Take a look at the artifacts that the MSC students did  to spark some INSPIRATION

Jen said go back through content of course and build from that.  Be BRAVE keep in mind that copyright issues are a bit tricky. Christine says to think about key messages in the course. How would you DELIVER THE MESSAGE in a new way. Think about adding your Flickr images to the Creative Commons Group

Sian gave an overview of Next week  Being Human… What is precious?  what do we want to keep , how do we improve on humans?  trans-humanism

week 3 The Happening
Tagxedo of A Happening 2/15/13
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This work by Willa Ryerson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

#EDCMOOC I’ve Come a LONG way, Baby!

After spending a tremendous amount of time reading blogs, perusing the internet for interesting articles, scanning twitter for more links to more information, I’m back to my blog. I’m loving this new computer…it’s super fast and I can find information easily. This computer has a web cam and Dolby sound, therefore I was able to spend face to face time at a Google hangout with some very important people… “my peeps”, my online safety net , my givers of inspiration.  Angela Towndrow, yet again motivates me to share my experiences so far. She stated in a most recent e mail…”One idea I have is if we had a discussion about our precourse connections and activities….how it started, grew and how this aspect of digital culture has affected our own learning experience and how we will take this back to our own teaching environment.” .

As stated before in previous blog posts, I am a novice when it comes to most digital and on line experiences.Limited, my experience was extremelylimited. Before enrolling in E-Learning and Digital Cultures 2013 ie. this massive MOOC from the University of Edinburgh, my primary use of my computer was e- mailing family and friends, using emails at work, checking Facebook once in a while and buying a few items on e bay or Amazon.

I had the Facebook account but rarely posted there, I just kept in contact with family and a few friends. Now I have a story to tell.

In that late November email,our course developers encouraged participants to familiarize ourselves with various platforms. My first new account was Twitter. There, I introduced myself and met Mohammed and Chris. Mohammed suggested we post objectives and goals. WordPress was the next account that I signed up for. Chris inspired my first blog post.He suggested we write about three things we want to learn, three things that concern us and three things we hope will happen as a result of taking this course. I did just that and voila my first blog was completed.

Chris also inspired me to try something new, tagxedo, and helped me upload it to our EDCMOOC school, another one of Chris’s creations. Oh, BTW, Chris is also our map maker extraordinaire.
Needless to say because of Chris and Angela’s help and encouragement I was able to step out of my comfort zone and move into unfamiliar yet exciting territory. Laurie St. Cyr Neistrath is another important connection. She sensed my angst over this new digital world I am now occupying and recommended that I sign up for a DIY Web 2.0 course offered by folks at PLPnetwork.com. I did that and now feel more confident in my abilities to navigate the WEB. I’ve spent the last few weeks reading blogs, finding useful articles and imagining what the course will be like when it actually starts. I’ve also added several more essential connections. People who inspire creativity, challenge me to think more deeply and take more risks. This last risk, that of creating a video of what a MOOC looks like to me, another challenge by our dear friend Chris Swift,was SCARY. I created something that people all over the world might see! I took a look at Ary Aranguiz’s Videoscribe and wanted to try making one of my own. I was happy with the results.

Learning with the friends that I’ve mentioned as well as Madhura, Andy, Kelcy, Nigel, Eric and others that I will soon connect with, make this my first MOOC adventure enriching, enlightening and entertaining.

How does  experiencing all this, change the way I teach and look at learning? It changes everything! The teacher is no longer just the giver of information and a guide, but someone who collaborates with  students and learns from them as well .Just look at all the learning that’s taken place in me from connecting with “my peeps”, my circle of friends.  Learning becomes limitless. We are no longer limited by four walls, or by just our thoughts. We are able to expand our knowledge exponentially by the number of connections we make. Limitless possibilities are out there just a click of the mouse away.

All in all, my precourse experience has been terrific.I’ve made the necessary human connections. Connections that  make learning happen.

Help! my pencil is broken…..and my teacher suffers from dementia

My blog title states that  this is a space where I will express my thoughts, feelings and progress in my upcoming course, e-learning and digital cultures. Well today’s blog will focus mainly on how I am feeling. Right now I am frustrated. This old computer is slow,lacks memory and continually causes feelings of impatience, frustration,and borderline anger. I rarely get angry and explode. I just simmer and seethe, grit my teeth and sometimes mumble. 

I am still feeling overwhelmed with the wealth of information I’m finding on the Net and from the blogs, postings, and twitters of fellow classmates. I am still wandering in spite of my effort to stay focused. Well this morning, I found the most wonderful site, a place where I can stay focused for a while until our virtual course begins. Here’s where I become frustrated and impatient. I knew this old computer wouldn’t stand up to the demands that I would be placing on it, so after Christmas, I bought myself a new computer.I had to order this computer and WAIT. That was hard enough.Right now this streamlined, beautiful, fast and full of memory new computer is at the store, just sitting there,waiting for the Geek Squad to add some software. I probably could have done that myself, but I’d paid for the Geek service for 2 years and wanted to get my money’s worth. Anyway, I have to WAIT for them to get around to doing it. Impatience rears it’s ugly head. 

So, I find this wonderful site full of wonderful articles and this piece of ….decrepit,bits and bytes won’t share it’s abundance of knowledge that I so desperately desire. It’s stalled and faulty memory causes me to become FRUSTRATED and instead of walking away and doing something else, I persist in hopes that somehow, after rebooting and waiting and waiting, I will be able to read this wonderful article and share what I’ve found with my friends.

And here is the the site edudemic.com and the article that I’ve found so appealing.Image


Now, that I’ve finally posted this. my feelings of impatience and frustration dwindle away and a sense of accomplishment takes place. 

Three fourths of this Visual depiction of Learning Theory sums up my life as a teacher for the past 35 years. It’s the other fourth, The Connectivism approach, that excites me. Despite the impatience and frustration, I will persevere and hopefully maintain connection in this digital realm. Geek Squad…. HURRY UP! PLEASE!