Wednesday, 14 November 2012

#edcmooc Some first thoughts

What will we learn today? (photo credit: Ryan Kilpatrick)
I have signed up for a free online course on eLearning & Digital Cultures.
I'll use my blog to keep a learning journal, and here are some first thoughts before the course begins. 

What do I hope to achieve?
1. See an online community from a different point of view. In my job here and here I help school teachers in Scotland and the UK find partner schools around the world, and help them develop their partnership. A lot of this is done online via blogs, VLE's etc so I am keen to be having a go at something myself, and be a student in a class which is worldwide. One of the most exciting things will be to study with and hear people's perspectives from countries all over the world. I hope this will help me see things from a different point of view, and perhaps also help me in my job.

2. Have more structure. I blog, use Flickr, and Tweet in my spare time here and there so it will be nice to spend 5 weeks doing this in a more structured way. I look forward to seeing the tasks we will be given as part of the course, and getting stuck in.

3. Learn from other people. The opportunity to study in a group of global learners is very exciting. Hopefully there will be plenty of connections to make, and tips & tricks to learn about along the way. If I can grasp what “multimodal literacies” means that will be good!

What am I concerned about?
1. Too many people? I don’t think this will be a problem, but I wonder how learning online in a big group will actually work? Say, compared to a small class of a dozen people where you know everyone in the class. Might we all end up doing our own stuff, and not really learning from each other?

2. Repeat what I’m comfortable with. I already blog, tweet etc so I hope I don’t fall back on what I already know, or just take the easy option.

3. Time. Actually putting in some proper time to learn & reflect. As above, I hope I don’t slip into easy habits because I don’t have time.  

What I am going to do
1. Time manage. Set aside time each week to sit down and complete the tasks. One of the pieces of advice we give to teachers is that a link with a school in another country is not going to be extra work, and it can fit seamlessly into the classroom work they are already doing. I'm going to try apply the same principle to this course, and put this advice into practice. Maybe set aside one hour in an evening and just do as much as I can in that hour. Don’t go over it, don’t fall short of it. See what happens.

2. Join in. The opportunity to have an audience for any work or study is hugely motivating. So, I will make sure I take time to read and comment on other people’s stuff. I think this will be a key element to a successful online course, rather than everyone just off doing their own thing. Getting involved, helping & sharing in this way is really important in digital communities.

3. Keep with it. Try and apply the learning to every day things as much as I can. Continue with the learning after the course. It’s an online community so why not? 


  1. Seems like a good plan Chris! I share many of the points you have mentioned above. I'm particularly interested to see how so many people manage to interact on the same course. Good luck with the plan. Kyle :)

  2. Hi Chris,
    I'm enrolled for this course as well and appreciate your thoughts from your blog! I look forward to sharing our learning :)
    Laura from Nanaimo, BC, Canada

  3. Thanks for your comments Kyle and Laura! Be happy to read your blogs too.

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  5. Great post, Chris! I liked most of your ideas (maybe because they are a reflection of mine?) I'm also going to start blogging about edcmooc :)
    Hope all our best expectations will come true.
    I have always wanted to visit Edinburgh. Your pictures are really inspiring! Thanks!


  6. Thanks Elena! Where are you from? Maybe you can make your own Flickr account and share some from where you live?

  7. I love the goal-orientation of your thinking for the MOOC. I like having a purpose for this course, too. Understanding what I might get from this as well as what I might WANT to get from this has been helping me think about what I'm already learning. Thanks for all you have done already for the group--like the map. So totally cool.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I look forward to looking back on these first thoughts in January and seeing how far I strayed! Hope you managed to get some goals down too? There have been a lot of good things about the course so far, and I'm sure there is plenty more to come. There are so many good tools out there, like the map, that it will be fascinating to see how a large and diverse group like this uses them,and what we can create together. To quote somebody else, "all the pianos in surburbia are sleeping. Let's go wake them up!"

  8. Hello Chris,
    I'm enrolled for this course and I look forward to sharing our learning and experiences

    Truly your,
    Ana Vargas