Why celebrate a course?

January 21, 2016 #ETMOOC celebrates its third year anniversary.

Why celebrate a course?

Because it changed the way I approach teaching and learning.


Because it introduced me to Alan Levine, Darren Kuropatwa, Dave Cormier, Doug Belshaw, Audrey Waters, Howard Rheingold,  Jim Groom, George Couros, and Alec Couros.

And Donna Fry.

Because it pushed me to think about technologies in education without thinking about technology.

Because it reminded me that good pedagogy trumps all.

Because it made me create.

Because it made me laugh.

Because it is the only learning experience I’ve had where openness, flexibility, lightheartedness, seriousness, collegiality, collaboration, creation, intellectualism, and generosity co-existed.

That’s why you celebrate a course.

What follows is an excerpt of my 2013 reflection post.

Be Ready to Make the Shift.

This past year I participated in my first mooc–Educational Technology and Media Open Online Course or ETMOOC. This event profoundly changed the way I think about learning in an academic setting. Sure, ETMOOC was an open, online course, but I didn’t know what that meant. I just knew I was taking a course. I knew there would be webinars and Tweet chats and that I needed to blog about my learning. That was all okay with me. I knew about webinars from work and my Masters’ program and Tweet chats from some online communities I had joined and I had started a blog for #cyberpd2012.

I was ready.

Or was I?

What was going on here anyway? Where was the stuffiness? The stiffness that comes when a group of strangers end up in some room together for a mutual, yet individual experience? There’s music playing at the outset of the first “lecture”. The “prof” is super casual, chatting away with folks, and the chat box is flying with comments. There is a familiarity in the room; a feeling that we all belong. There are no titles used, or groups constructed by what level you teach….no map. There is Dave Cormier heckling Alec Couros (an inside job, but I didn’t know that, yet). There’s the whiteboard interaction that clearly gets out of hand.

Then there’s the cow.

This opening learning event set the stage for a learning experience that was challenging, engaging, supportive, integrated, free flowing, always on, permissive, immediate, organic, and …fun!

Did I learn anything?

Beyond learning about digital literacy, digital citizenship, content curation, digital storytelling, open education, and beyond developing increased comfort with social media platforms and tools, and beyond creating digital products like Storify, 5 Card Flickr, LipDub, and writing blog posts, ETMOOC taught me about the changing educational landscape. The ground is shifting beneath our feet, and we must begin now to shift with it.



1 Comment

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One response to “Why celebrate a course?

  1. Pingback: cMOOCs – Welcome Home! « ScienceOunce

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