Happy New Year, everyone. Welcome to 2013! I have two “open” new years resolutions.
We have been talking about how the web has become increasingly open, social and participatory for the past four years…yet with the arrival of the MOOC bandwagon last year, “open” took on new significance. So, as 2013 gets rolling, I and my CTE colleagues are exploring how “open” might change our teaching.
Again this spring, my colleagues Jeff Nugent, David McLeod, and myself will be facilitating a course in our Preparing Future Faculty program called “GRAD-602: Teaching, Learning and Technology.” We should have 24 Ph.D candidates or post-docs working on their PFF certification. As in previous years, we will take our students on an exploration of the social web and the integration of digital technology into teaching at the college level. Our students will document their journey by blogging on the open web. In past years, we have used the campus LMS – Blackboard – with links to their blogs in Netvibes. This year as our first new practice (and resolution), we are moving our LMS to WordPress, so that we can invite the world to join in our weekly conversations.
So check out our website at http://wp.vcu.edu/grad602/ – and if you or your grad students would like to blog with us and be added to our Netvibes page, let me know!
Two of my students from last summer completed MOOCs from Coursera over the fall, and their enthusiasm has prompted me to try one for myself. So, as a second new years resolution in the world of open, I have enrolled in Coursera’s E-Learning and Digital Cultures class, to be taught by Jeremy Know, Sian Bayne, Hamish MacLeod, Jenn Ross and Christine Sinclair out of the University of Edinburgh. The course starts January 28th, runs 5 weeks, and Jeremy tweeted last week that over 32,000 have enrolled so far. I know that blogging will be a part of the course, and I will be using this blog to chronicle my learning for the course.
I enrolled in mid-December, and a small but very engaged subset of the 32K has already been active in Twitter, Facebook, and a host of other sites. Sandra Sinfield blogged about this pre-course engagement…and listed the following links (the majority of which have been developed by fellow students, not Coursera or the instructors):
Quoting from Sandra -here are quick links:
Wow! Thanks, Sandra, for creating this resource list!
Sandra mentioned that she was already feeling overwhelmed, and I understand that feeling. My minimal connections over the holiday break resulted in numerous emails alerting me to FB Group postings and tweets … and this with approximately 150 of us diving in to the social media. I am wondering if 32,000 (or even a percentage of 32K) will bring my system to its knees! Obviously, I will be refining my filters and alert settings, but I have a feeling it will be continuous or nothing…this is going to be interesting to try and throttle. And with the numbers in my Coursera course, will I miss any of the social media from my VCU students in GRAD 602? I want to play in the sandbox and see what happens…but it will be an interesting spring to say the least!
If any of you who have taken a similar journey have tips and tricks for success, please comment to this post and share them!