Monday, 6 May 2013

So, what are your skills, knowledge, and experience?

 I am sat here writing my CV. It's an arduous process with many things I wish I could say better, many skills I wished I had, many things I wish I’d done better – or just done in the first place. Don't you think so too? If so, I've come up with an idea - and it could be for you.

Simply put, it's a mini Personal Learning Network for 5 people. We will spend 5 weeks sharing some of our time & knowledge with each other on the general theme of "online learning tools". It will be minimum time input, and more about sharing skills & knowledge so we can all get some practical & motivating job related experience in an informal way. 

If you are currently a bit stuck for opportunities, but want to get experience for CV's, job interviews, or just a general career boost, then this could be for you. I need four other people to start it. If you are interested, let me know. I'm putting this out to anyone who was part of the EDCMOOC course back in Jan/Feb this year. People reading this will be from all kinds of different job backgrounds and career stages, so it might not be your cup of tea. On the other hand it might give you a chance to mingle with someone from a different background and get a fresh perspective.

We will each choose one tool we learnt from the EDCMOOC course and tell the others about it. It could be anything - just something so we have a framework. How we used the tool, why it's good, what are its limitations, how it could be used in a real life situation, how you might improve it etc. I'm thinking of things like Glogster, Flickr, Paper.Li, ScoopIt, Twitter, SlideRocket, Prezi, GoAnimate, Storify etc. 

You will write a blog post on your tool of choice. This will allow you to research and think about it a bit more creatively. It's basically the same as the Quadblogging idea some of us tried during the EDCMOOC course.
We will also meet once a week, for one hour, on Google Hangout. One person will host the Hangout and "interview" the star guest who will talk about their tool of choice. The others will join in as “audience” with questions. This will give us the chance to try out Google Hangout and learn how to use it. If you have never done videoconferencing before it'd be a chance to gain some experience. 

It will only last 5 weeks. One person’s tool of choice will be the “theme of the week”.  We will each take in turn so that everyone has one week where they are the “star”.
This is the main bit, so I have split into into 3 sections.

1. Job skills.
Get some key skills, knowledge, and experience that would be useful when applying for jobs. I’m thinking of generic things like:
- Manage & organise your own work. Something as simple as this could demonstrate evidence that you can organise your time well, create & manage a workload, and work co-operatively & creatively with a group.
- Learn how to use Google Hangout. These are becoming more and more popular. If you’ve never done any kind of video conferencing before this would give you the chance to learn how to host, record, and participate in one.
- Work with different groups of people. Either you are frustrated with lack of opportunity in your current situation, or you are curious about getting the perspective of someone in another country, in another line of work, or at a different career stage than you. That's always a good job skill to have.
- Understand some new ICT tools. There are literally thousands of them out there - it's overwhelming. This exercise will allow us to at least know about, and know how we could apply, five of them, "To understand one thing well, is better than understanding many things by halves".

2. Motivation
If you are working in a group I believe that you are much more likely to want to accomplish something. On your own, it might just disappear into a vast “to do” list. 

3. Be altruistic
I want to re-ignite the EDCMOOC learning community. How many other opportunities do you have to interact and share the knowledge and outlook of people from different countries and continents?
I am sure there are many accredited courses out there which would do all of this for you professionally, but I think something like this would be more stimulating and memorable. Plus, it would show that you have creativity and are willing to make & try something different. Imagine being an interview and talking about “Course 1B Major Module 3F” you took, or talking about something like this. Which one would you remember more? And which one would you be more passionate talking about?

This is an experiment. I'd want it to be as light touch as possible, so we are not overwhelmed with work. At most it's a chance to have a couple hours a week where we get motivated to try something new. Let me know if you are interested - your ideas count!


  1. I love your idea! It sounds both really useful and pretty fun so I'd love to participate!

    1. Hi Ilze (I hope I have your name right....?),

      Thanks for your reply! I am going to give this until Sunday to see who else might reply and then take it from there.

      Thanks a lot for being the first person to stop by!


  2. Hi Chris,

    Wonderful idea to use the edmooc community for this. I wonder though, should there be a distinction between the diffrent education grades? I mean, I am in higher education so the way I might use tools could be very diffrent from how they are used in, say primary education.Or is that just an asumption? Another thing is that I am also interested in the pedagogy behind a tool, guess you would like to cover that too? But all and all: a very good initiative!

    1. Hi Tallina,

      I don't think it matters too much. Infact, I'd quite like to see how someone in another line of work uses a tool - it might be different.

      Yes, pedagogy could be covered: whatever people want to get out of it is the main thing I suppose. My idea was that each week someone would take the lead and run with it, so they could do whatever they wanted. Thanks for adding a comment.


  3. Hi Chris - good one... I wonder also if you want to talk about tools that are emerging around this very notion of identifying and quantifying 'skills'? there is a software product I saw last year that claimed to be helpful, and of course there are now umpteen portfolio tools, and then there's the whole business of badges proliferating everywhere alongside the mooc phenomenon... would you find it useful to share documentation of what you're looking at here? I think we all have to be able to do this shit, whatever we might think about it, because it's increasingly a policy compliance thing - and of course you need to be able to explain what you're good at for promotion and new job seeking purposes. I'd be interested to participate anyway. I find it deeply problematic, but at the same time necessary and useful!

    1. Hi Emily.

      I too find it a bit of a necessary evil. I hadn't thought about those portfolio type tools. Do you use one, or know of one in particular?

      You are right, there are so many tools out there now. It's a bit overwhelming don't you find? So. I'm going back to my basic principles:
      1. Exchanging ideas with people is good
      2. Working in a group gets you doing stuff

      Thanks for your interest & appreciate the comments!


    2. my institution has just integrated Mahara into our LMS (Moodle) but I haven't started using it yet... it's free for anyone to use, there were just some advantages to having it integrated with other systems... I sort of started using something else some years ago that I've now forgotten the name of - it was quite a powerful tool, and enabled, like Mahara, for control over what bits were open and what private, so you can for example selectively show the bits you want to a potential employer.... I've just always been to busy actually doing work to have time to document the work I'm doing to be honest.... but I must I guess. I just find it quite amusing, as a research topic, when and why the plural form 'skills' emerged from the abstract noun 'skill' - recently did a rather telling investigation via google ngrams and a concordancer search through british national corpus... there's a paper in it I tell you!... yes but meanwhile, indeed, share ideas with folks and quad-blog it! (or was that quint- blog it?!)

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Maddie. Hope to get something going this weekend.

  5. I'm game. In my last MOOC, my blogging dropped off the radar, and I am eager to get back on the wagon.

    1. Thanks Cathleen. As above. Hope to make a start this weekend.


  6. Hi Chris,

    Great idea! Just a suggestion..have you heard of You can create virtual three ringed binders to organize all the resources everyone shares, and to create a virtual portfolio you can share with a potential employer. Good luck Chris!

    1. Hi Ary,
      Thanks for your suggestion. I have not come across LiveBinders so will take a look. I've been trying for a while to go paper-less completely, but sometimes get nostalgic for those old chunky ring binders - this seems like a compromise!