#diffimooc Week One Essential Question: What are the characteristics I will need to be successful in this MOOC?
Everything about this MOOC is so new to me that I feel like I can only think about it in metaphors. I can only make sense of it in terms of other experiences. I named my blog “Learning to Swim” after my first hour in our #diffimooc Twitter feed. I had never used Twitter before, and I spent that hour feeling like I had been thrown in water over my head without knowing how to swim. I felt like I was flailing around rather wildly, alternately snatching gulps of air and gulps of water. But I also knew I was surrounded by other swimmers, some brand new like me and others experienced and competent, and all the evidence suggested that this was something I could learn to do if I just paid attention and kept trying.
The pace of the hour-long Twitter exchange was dizzying, and even as I started to catch on, I found myself wanting a snorkel, or at least some “floaties” as one classmate suggested. But by the end of the hour, while I couldn’t exactly swim, at least I felt like I could keep my head above water long enough to hear some of the helpful instructions being offered by the more experienced swimmers around me. So the learning continues…
This week, I have furthered my learning in many basic ways:
- I set up my Twitter account and began learning how to use Twitter and TweetDeck
- I set up a diigo account and began learning how to tag useful webpages and use the highlighting tool to mark key sections
- I set up this blog on WordPress
- I learned how to record a video of myself with my iPhone, edit it with iMovie, and post it on YouTube with links in this blog and on our Twitter feed
- I explored links provided on our #diffimooc paper.li and by our instructors and my fellow classmates to learn more about what a MOOC is and what connectivism is.
I’m not sure if I’ve done much yet to contribute to the learning of others in the class. I have definitely benefitted from others in the class; Colin has posted a lot of very helpful information and has guided me in Twitter and YouTube. I’ve tried to share my discoveries on Twitter, such as learning the difference between a private and an unlisted YouTube video; I hope that may have helped someone else along the way.
What characteristics will I need to be successful in this MOOC? Stephen Downes gives this description of connectivism: “To teach is to model and demonstrate, to learn is to practice and reflect.” What Connectivism Is ~ Stephen’s Web He also says, “Learning in a MOOC…is in the first instance a matter of learning how to select content.” Creating the Connectivist Course | One Change a Day
Select content, practice, and reflect. The web and all of its resources is overwhelming! I will need to learn to be selective, to be purposeful in my internet explorations and not let myself get dragged off on wild tangents or aimless wanders. I will need to practice, which means being willing to put myself out there, “out there,” in cyberspace, which scares me. I have so far been very cautious with my internet presence, and trying all of these new things at which I am so imperfect is very unsettling. And I will need to reflect. If I just go careening through cyberspace, I’ll miss the whole point of this MOOC, I think. I need to allow myself some time to ponder what I want to learn and how the connections I am making (in cyberspace and in my own head) can help me improve my own teaching and learning.
I love this quote from Stephen Downes: “We learn, in connectivism, not by acquiring knowledge as though it were so many bricks or puzzle pieces, but by becoming the sort of person we want to be.” I am a work in progress!