Monday, July 11, 2011

Week Three - Turning to Technology

It is now the third week of this raucous MOOC and we are turning our attention to the technology. It's hard not to. With the release of Google+ the MOOC is already running in circles seeking hangouts and huddles.

I did some hanging out myself today. I heard a bit more about how participants feel about eduMOOC - the good and the bad. I hear that we can pay a bit closer attention to our audio quality in the panels, but also that the streaming format (thanks again Tulio) is pretty cool. I hear that a lot of people are making new connections. I hear that many really like the MOOC. I hear that this MOOC is less controlled and structured than others.

I suppose that last comment deserves a bit of a response. We have approached this MOOC in a way similar to how we teach a graduate seminar. We respect the knowledge, diversity and innovative spirit of those who choose to participate in a MOOC. Our approach has been to create opportunities to learn; to mention thought-provoking ideas where we can; to invite some people who care about the topic to our panel discussions, and mostly to point people to interesting resources in the area of online learning. Our approach is not that we, the organizers, will teach in a traditional hands-on way, but that we will provide the opportunity to engage, interact, and learn. We set the original agenda, invited some panelists, created some spaces - though many more spaces were created by the participants - to give some form to the MOOC blob so people would have an idea what it might become.

Having set the stage, we are now caretakers of the forum; janitors of the classroom. It something breaks, we try to fix it; if someone or something makes an awful mess that gets in the way of others, we'll try to tidy it up enough that the others can engage, interact and learn unimpeded. We're the ones with the dustpans, mops and brooms. Sweeping, scooping and splashing. (This brings to mind mucking out the horse stalls at the Illinois State Fair which takes place each August here in Springfield, but I'll save that for another posting)

This week is going to be especially fun. I love technology. And, we have four of my favorite techno-leaders talking together on Thursday. You will find them all on twitter and in blogs and quoted around campuses and other places where tekkies reside to hide from the sun, choosing rather to bask in the glow of their tablet screens.

Most of our staff will be dispersed on the east and west coasts for various meetings, presentations, etc. during the week. But Carrie will be in charge, as I am reminded she is in charge more often than not. She and Lauren will keep the MOOC going when flight attendants have put the rest of us in "airplane mode."

So, a great week ahead!

"See" you online - hope we can hangout!

Won't anyone give this post a +1 ?

.................PS - Thanks for the +1

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