Why I love cMOOCs – (The c really stands for Canadian….)
I found MOOCs because someone encouraged me to go find the most engaging, motivating and interactive “thing” happening in Online Learning. At the time – April 2012 – that thing was MOOCs. There was no difference between a cMOOC and an xMOOC back in those olden days.
The original way to find out about a MOOC was to:
- Google interactive and engaging online learning
- Find a course website like Change11 or MOOCMOOC
- Register online
- Frantically figure out how to create a twitter name, blog, your blog’s RSS feed and download and run BlackBoard Collaborate
- Then…Figure out who your weekly “teacher” will be and remember to show up to the live session and check the webpage for any activities that no one would mark but you could do
- Figure out what a twitter hashtag is to figure out who your classmates were
It was the most chaotic, lonely, difficult, challenging and crazy learning experiences I had ever had in my life. It was also the first time in my life I felt like I was learning – for the sake of learning. When you learn because you are passionate about a topic and there are no set guidelines and expectations but your own…it is a totally different experience.
By joining in April 2012, I joined in a course that had been running since the previous year. While I could sense some exhaustion on the behalf of the facilitators (George Siemens, Steven Downes and Dave Cormier and weekly host Alec Couros) my learning was ignited.
Since that day – I have become dependent upon my network to learn. To me, what Downes and Siemens refer to as “nodes of learning” refer to the people, digital artifacts (like blog posts) and social media networks (like twitter) with whom and which I connect and learn everyday. I collaborate and interact in one continuous learning community. My PLN (Personal Learning Network) also includes people, digital artifacts and social networks. Alec Couros created this image of the Networked Teacher:
So- as we start this new adventure called #OCLMOOC I encourage you to become a serendipitous learner. That means – learn in the moment, take risks, fail often and learn from your mistakes and your successes! I challenge you to learn how to learn with others – online.
I am really, really looking forward to learning with you! Please follow me on twitter @verenanz