#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.