#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,

Creative Commons License
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.