Etmooc: #1 “Oh, the places I’ll go!”

Me as a "homo floresiensis woman.  How is this for an introduction?The Natural History Museum, Smithsonian, Washington, DC
Me as a “homo floresiensis woman.” How is this for an introduction?
The Natural History Museum, Smithsonian, Washington, DC

Introductions are always tricky.  What to wear, what to say, how to say it, what is the context and the setting and what do people really want to know about me?  Sometimes is a tough call to make.  Do I really want to make something that probably no one will view? So many questions with unresolved answers.  I have spent the first week of this new MOOC understanding that any resemblance to any other MOOC that I will take may be minimal.  After all, this entire experience is to be about making connections.  I spent a considerable amount of time reading the blogs of others, participating in the initial twitter chat and watching the introductory programs on Blackboard.   Here is my ever so brief introduction:  #Etmooc-It’s me…Laurie

In my quest to make connections this week, I found an short, informative YouTube clip on the blog page of Karin GitchDave Cormier‘s ideas about How do Succeed in  a MOOC, asked me to consider how I will approach this experience.  He  suggests that students consider the following five steps in order to be successful.

Orientation-Where will I find the materials? 

#Etmooc-Educational Technology & Media
#Etmooc-Educational Technology & Media
  • That’s a no brainer, as the organizers of the #Etmooc have done just that! They have organized everything that I will need on a web page, have created Blackboard programs that contain a section of archived programs. I  looked forward to listening to Sue Water’s presentation about blogs.  I included Sue as part of my initial “Tribe” when creating a Prezi about my Personal Learning Network for Adult 641.   What a let down when the connection did not occur! She and I chatted briefly this week on the twitter evening about “quadblogging.”  Three women from my EDCMOOC group blog, connect on FB and will soon use Google+ to “stay connected.” Sue has graciously offered to hold another live session as there were many of us who struggled with computer glitches that night. The “archive” tab for this MOOC will provide an opportunity for me to catch up with the group at a later time.

Declare-What do I wish to accomplish, what is my goal in taking this course?

  • The only reason that I knew about this course is because Dr. Alex Couros posted a tweet several months ago.  Talk about making great connections!  Connectivism is such a new theory of learning that it is not even presented in the theories of Adult Learning “bible.”   While considerable time was given to the exploration of , unpacking and application of the five major theories, connectivisim, the theory vitally important to those in the  “Teaching and Learning with Technology” track of my graduate program was not discussed.  Connectivism is so new, that I needed to add it to the dictionary on my computer!  I am keenly interested in learning more about this theory, exploring how it relates to digital learning and how I can use this opportunity to make stronger connections with others using digital and social media!

2bigcover.pngNetwork-building smart rooms one network at a time! (thank you, David Weinberger!)

  • The possibilities are endless for how smart the rooms can become where I live and interact.  Already I have built a strong room of connections through another MOOC, E-Learning and Digital Cultures and the class has not even begun!  Understanding how important sharing and creating is to the digital world is one of the most significant components of becoming “networked.”  While this new MOOC is less than two weeks old, connections are forming based on location, interests and yes, movies!  A crucial factor in becoming a smart part of this new room is the willingness to extend myself.  Several of us dip into both MOOCs. This will provide for an interesting ‘hangout” where we converse about what we are learning in both MOOCs!

Cluster-How do I move from the “floor” to the “ceiling?”

  • After a semester of thrills and roller coaster rides through the tools associated with social media, I am ready to engage  them with the tasks associated with this course.
  • Theories of learning, ideas that surround connectivism, organization and digital literacy are topics that I consider”clustering around.”  In the orientation this week, Dr. Couros talked about the idea of digital literacy as the “floor” and “fluency” as the ceiling of learning. His community is considering how to implement changes with students to move them from the “floor” to the “ceiling.” I am ready to make this move. My professors provided a solid “floor” on which to stand. It’s now time to develop a “ceiling” that reflect my philosophy of “The broader the base, the higher the tower!”

Focus-baby, focus…

Educating Rita-wonder what her life would be like with digital tools?
Educating Rita-wonder what her life would be like with digital tools?
  • My mentor is so generous in saying that I am someone who is able to get back on the path even when I stray to pursue other venues.  Our conversations this week over coffee at Panera brimmed with discussion about this class, my graduate studies and where I would like to share what I learn.
  • The group study, posters and presentations created in Adult 601 linger with me as I transition from course to course.  I a rather visual and can picture the image of each poster that hung in the classroom, the discussion that surrounded each theory of learning and then the application that ensue when applying it to the film, Educating Rita.
  • The posters are long gone and have transitioned through the cycle or renew and recycle. I wish that they were in the “clouds” for seamless transition from topic to topic.
  • David Cormier suggests that students in a MOOC set a goal for the class. I think that a Glogster poster  would be a great tool to use for future learning opportunities and presentation.
  • A glogster engages the important ideas about how a hyperlink, as Weinberger suggests in his book, “Too Big to Know,” extends the experience of the learner.
Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

“You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

You’re on your own.  And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

15 thoughts on “Etmooc: #1 “Oh, the places I’ll go!”

  1. I too am interested in exploring ‘Connectivism’ as a learning theory. Though it is different from Constructivism I find there are many similarities between these two theories.


    1. Nice to meet you, Sheri! I hear that someone named Benjamin from Colorado has enjoyed your connections. I’ll need to go watch his video and find out what’s been going on in #etmooc! I love language arts and was absolutely blown away when I moved from juvenile lit to YA! Something happens between 6-8th grade from innocence to a lust for edgy books, yes?


    1. Willa, do you remember when this book was first published? I’ve used it with students to jump start the year in terms of thinking about what we’ll learn and where I’ll studies will take us. Many students still struggle with the idea that learning and going some place is a personal choice! Teachers are so important to help learners make the connections between their activities and learning. So glad that you’re part of that connected learning network!


  2. Yes, Laurie, I remember this book well. I purchased a few s graduation presents for family or friends to remind them that they are not just going off to college. Personal choice and making connections is an education in itself. I am also glad that YOU are part of my learning network!


  3. Laurie,
    I truly love the way you incorporate the story in the list of learning points. Great post! I’ve been clicking on your links and adding them to my Evernote #etmooc folder for using as reference. Thanks for that.
    Karin (@kgitch)


    1. Hey, Karin
      I was going to send a message to you today to ask if you used Google “alerts” so that you would know when you were being mentioned in cyberspace! Just out of curiosity, do you use Evernote in addition to Diigo or instead of it? I signed up for an account last fall when I was in a signing-up frenzy, but haven’t done anything with it. Guess that it’s a tool that I should explore with all of the MOOCs that I am taking, yes?


      1. Hey back Laurie! WordPress does notify when the link is posted, but fyi, the link above doesn’t take you to my blog or the video. You are in my reader so I am able to catch all of your posts. 🙂 The video you refer to is one of my favorites though!

        I use Evernote to bookmark things I don’t have time to read at the moment – it syncs to all the places I use the internet. It is an app on Chrome, Kindle, Droid Razr and all the computers I use. For me, it’s the best way to bookmark. When I am sharing – curating – I really only use ScoopIt. I do love that program, and it makes sense to me how to link, follow and post (very much like Pinterest). This course is the only course I have used Diigo – and mostly because I want to follow people and what they post. I’m probably only going to follow there, and focus on using ScoopIt to share.

        I’ve enjoyed all the tools that are popping up, but really for me, it’s the ones that I am comfortable using that I stick to. These are simple and easy to use, don’t require a ton of “learning curve” and have a specific use for me. If it doesn’t connect on all the different technologies that I use, then I rarely use it. 🙂 ~Karin


  4. I love this post, and esp. the reference to Educating Rita. That movie had a huge impact on my life. I was stuck in a spot like Rita when I saw that movie. I was very inspired both by her character and the professor–I feel like I lived both roles a bit (minus the heavy smoking and drinking!!). And the idea of “connection” is the point of learning, right? We must synthesize our learning and reading and make new knowledge, create new pathways for our brains to work. Oh, the places you’ll go. So fun that you are doing two MOOCs at once. I signed up for another one that begins in March, I think (I’ll have to check my email to be sure–I can’t remember!). Looking forward to seeing how these two tracks of learning intersect (or don’t) for you. Thanks for this.


    1. Oh, there sounds like a very interesting story here! My Adult Learning Theories class watched the movie in two parts and discussed them at length. It is certainly one that I would like to purchase and is one that I think that all adult students should watch! Two MOOCs at once? Try 4-5! I’ll be crazy before this is over, but I’ll survive with the great connections that I’ve made. I’ve signed up for the Online Education course, through Georgia Tech, the one in March, the Hollywood/Movie Class through Wesleyan University, a Women in the Civil Rights Movement through UMD and a literature one that begins in June! Crazy, yes! Phew…


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