Wednesday, 19 December 2012

#edcmooc has a school! Where are we now pre-course?

What is this "School"??
A lot has happened so far before the course has even begun. The Facebook and Twitter groups have been tremendous at really opening up connections and collaboration. We have shared blog posts, Pinterest accounts, favourite links, articles, and so on. But, it still feels a vast amount of info to digest, and what have we really learnt so far?

So, I had an idea. What if this was a real school? Where would everyone be? Where would we put everything? It seemed obvious (weblinks to the library, Twitter chats to the common room), and sounded fun to try and visualise it. So I made a mock ground plan of "the school" and here it is. There is a link beneath the picture to the plan on Google Docs with all the live links. You may also edit it or add comments here if you wish
Link to the school plan


How did I do it?
I actually did it on trusty old PowerPoint. Then I uploaded it to Google Docs and made it public. This way. anyone in the course group can access and edit it. There must be a tool or app out there that does this better. Do you know of one? Please share in the comments below.

What's this school all about?
Well, firstly it was a bit of fun. But I had a serious point and that was to try and organise all the info I've come across, and see if we can't work smarter as a group. I divided the plan it into school rooms. Each room has links to the various online spaces we have created. So, if nothing else it will be a handy reference point, and a helpful guide for newbies to the course.
Entrance Hall - Welcome
Cloak Room - Hang your coat up, and find your way round. There is a Google Map on the wall. Have a look at where all your classmates are and add yourself to the map so we can see where you are from. Have you joined the Google Plus group as well? And added your blog to the blog list? Remember to be courteous and read the rules too.
Quiet Study Room - Here's where we work away quietly on our own projects. We keep Pinterest, Evernote, Flickr & YouTube accounts. We like to share them but are happy beavering away on them in the background. We also started some study groups. You can join a QuadBlog and work in little groups together, follow the link to find out more. Or, if you are feeling overwhelmed, have a vent on the WallWisher page.
Library - there have been so many links posted via Twitter & Facebook, but I thought it was a bit unorganised, and we could be a bit smarter about this. So rather than always post to Twitter or Facebook, add a link to our shared Diigo group instead. Tag it "edcmooc" and we will soon have created an online library. It's much easier to search for things this way, and means Facebook & Twitter don't just get clogged up with endless links to articles. You can also add comments to your Diigo links. You could add why you shared a certain article for example, or pick out your favourite line and ask others to choose theirs. It is much more engaging than just pasting a link. If you have a nugget you really want to share, why not write a summary of the video or article yourself. and post it on your blog? It is sometimes more interesting for people to read your take on it, and you might think more about something if you write about it rather than just post the link.
Common Room - this is where most of us are hanging out. Links here to all the social media groups where you can join in on the conversations
Kitchen - Er, not sure about this one. Something to do with the creative area where we make things.  Links here go to test pages or groups that people are trying out.
Teacher Room - info about the course itself. There is also a link to a trial tutor group which Eric Clark set up. So, if you are a tutor yourself in real life, please join in.
Classroom - the most important bit - but look how empty it is! OK, so the course hasn't begun so it will start to fill up. For now, there is a question on the whiteboard which Steve posed.

Alright, so there's my school plan. What do you think? Did I miss any rooms out? Doing it on PowerPoint seemed so antiquated, especially given the subject matter of this course. There must be a better way to do this using a nifty website or app. Do you know of one? Or if you are clever web person, write to me and let's design one. This could be a great application to use in clasrooms. Get the pupils to design their own dream school and add web 2.0 things to each room. Make a timetable, what would be your dream day, or what do you want to study and what would the classroom look like? It would get pupils' creativity going, and teachers might learn a thing or two as well. Someone must have done this already so grateful if you can share any stories with me.


21 comments:

  1. Hey Chris! I love the EDC MOOC school...happy to be a student! Maybe we can add a second floor with a movie theater for the youtube http://www.youtube.com/ ,and Synch tube http://www.synchtube.com/ links suggested by the course instructors. A dark room with the link to Flickr http://www.flickr.com/ also would be grand!

    How about a door somewhere or, an after school club, as you called it, with the link for the Meet-ups. http://www.meetup.com/Coursera/

    And maybe, just maybe a student hangout room, where we can create Google Hangouts for synchronous video chats...would be pretty neat! Thanks for taking the lead in helping us create our unique digital culture in #EDCMOOC 2013!

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  2. Hi Ary, they're great suggestions! A movie theatre and darkroom would be brilliant. How exciting would that be in a school? We need to build an extension! Oh wait, I have power. I have done! There's quite a lot of options when you think about it isn't there? Maybe that's a lesson learned from this?- try visualise something and it'll help you come up with new and better ideas.

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  3. oh great job Chris - I do love a good visual organiser - and one with hyperlinks! now the graphic artist in me is all fired up... I can see yet another great way to avoid my day job as I add a certain je ne sais quoi of colour and design to your concept.... love it, love thinking about it :)

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  4. Hi Emily, it was a bit of a clunky first go, so any colour & design is welcome! Cheers, Chris

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  5. Like x 100. So fun. I get what you are saying about PPTX, but it if works, it works. And this is such a good graphic to see how we're growing and learning. Great metaphor!

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  6. Thanks Elizabeth, it was fun to do! Am happy to take more suggestions for the school as we go on!

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  7. Update - in the actual MSc eLearning course at Edinburgh University they used Second Life a lot - including their graduation ceremony! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sgXak5quA4
    Makes our little school seem a bit prosaic :-)

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  8. Chris, the visualisation is great and very helpful.

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  9. Chris. I really like your visualization of our school! With all the components, it gives us a good tool for navigation. I accessed the school from the EDCMOOC FB page and see now that there is a desire to use Google+ for our dialogue, since so many of us use FaceBook for personal networking. Since the schoolis in GoogleDocs can you make a link from our Google+ community? Thanks!!

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  10. Hey Chris, loved the concept of the edcmooc school. Thank you for posting.
    On consideration, I began to wonder if the appeal I felt was because I “wanted” to visualize my learning experience using an environment that is familiar (& therefore safe?). In thinking of my edcmooc experience in “fames” that are familiar am I reducing the chance of being challenged and developing new insights? Your thoughts?

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    1. Yes, that thought has crossed my mind too. One of the things I put as "concerns" in an earlier blog post was that during the course I would just revert to methods & concepts that I am already comfortable with. It's easy, you know it will work, it's quick. I think I have done that to a degree, but some things have been new to me so it's trying to get a balance I think. How else could we view learning progress on this course? Some people have mentioned gaming, or things like Second Life. I know nothing about this area so that's something I'd like to explore. Good point though. Thanks for posting.

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    2. Hi Chris, have been reflecting on your question on learning progress...loving the school analogy. How about creating a ‘field trip’ i.e. application of learning back into the real world as a ‘room’? This may give us a chance to capture progress as we move forward in the course. Thoughts?

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    3. I think that's a great idea. Anything where we can apply our learning in practice has to be a good thing. I think the course assignments will do this to a degree, but no reason why we couldn't do our own also. So, how to do this? Let's have a think....

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    4. Think this probably links back to an “evidence portfolio” room which could be done via a range of online tools. Scoop.it might be too restrictive as it relies on publishing the evidence in another format before linking back to a portfolio (?). Let’s not go down the path of learning journals via blogs...yawn...didn’t work IRL...still digging my way round all the tools available and to date nothing seems to fit. Anything you have stumbled across?

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  11. I was just going through your idea of this school , I think it is great! i really like it. How about having a news room where we start a news letter every week and continue to give all updates? I do get a little confused with all the sites one has to visit , how to handle this . A library is a good suggestion in your school it will help us to keep a record of useful sites and blogs.

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    1. Thanks Shaista. News Room is a good idea. We're kind of doing this in an ad hoc way via Google Hangouts, but someone giving their own "news broadcast" each week might be fun. There are quite a few people making their own newspaper style records via ScoopIt and Paper.Li
      For example:
      1. http://paper.li/HeikkiHallantie/1359408739#
      2. http://www.scoop.it/t/elearning-and-digital-cultures

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  12. Hi Chris,
    Enjoying exploring you edcmooc school, but I can't access some of the links...I get a message that says I am not authorized. What's up with that??? I guess I'm not doing something...how do I gain access? Signed on to follow your blog thinking that might have something to do with it, but no luck...Waiting to hear from you Mimi

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  13. Sorry - it's you don't have permission...Can you help?

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    1. Hi Mimi, some of these links are to the private Facebook group. Are you a member of this? If not, this could be why it's saying you aren't authorised. I've just checked the links on the school and they seem OK. Could you let me know which ones you can't access?

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  14. Hey! It`s the first time I`m going to make a comment since I started the course... I feel a bit lost with all the communication channels available, and all the information uploaded so far, but the school was kind of fun, I loved all the links! Very useful for my everyday teaching!

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    1. Thanks for your comment Juliana. Glad you found the school useful! I also felt lost at the beginning with all the communication channels, so that's why I came up with this school idea. To try and put some order into the chaos.

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