So today I have to post on the following topics but I want to spend a few minutes writing about the MOOCMOOCsJan2013 experience so far.
So you may have guessed already, even though I am in Ed Tech I am a bit of a Luddite when it comes to the online world. Yes, I opened a Twitter account 2 years ago but prior to this class had tweeted 3 times. Why bother? Who was I going to talk to? Why would I want to clutter up my inbox with posts from people I didn’t know? We’re bombarded by so much info at work all day long that I appreciate the solitude (and getting away from all of the devices). Plus I don’t own a cellphone or smartphone (Luddite remember!) which seems to be a prerequisite for twitter. No danger of me texting and driving! For learning to occur, I do need space and time to think and reflect and I certainly can’t do my job and also spend my life getting messages from companies, celebrities, causes, etc. Keeping up with this stuff is a chore. Keeping it organized reminds me of cleaning out my closet. It’s work! Plus I want to spend time in the real world, not the cyberworld. But while I am not going to say I’ve become a Twitter convert I can see how in a MOOC environment that Twitter and especially Tweetdeck helps you stay connected and interacting, creating those learning intersections, even more than the platform for the Designing for New Learning Environments MOOC (which was an eye opening course for me and just so powerful!)
But what about after the MOOCMOOC course is finished? Will I still be checking out tweetdeck regularly? Still converse with the people I’ve met online? Or will it be a case of “finished the course, let’s move on.” The DNLE course has been left open for our use but how many of us return to review or interact? Or is it just becoming another piece of internet flotsam? Perhaps learning involves not just the creation of idea in the head but also the moving of the idea into the real world, the practical application. But is the real world the digital world? Is a book still more valuable than a tweet? A You tube video more important than movie or a documentary? Is rapid transmission of ideas more important than reflection and refinement of an idea?
Finally, perhaps that’s why there are lurkers in MOOCs, because of the wish to not join in the unspoken contract between people using technology. In a social contract, I say hello, you say hello. So does joining in the conversation on Twitter or You tube or Facebook or whatever your social media of choice is obligate us to play by the old rules of the social contract which are there to promote civil discourse? I’ve communicated with you therefore I expect you to respond? And how soon must I respond?
Onto the actual assignment.
How do you respond to the various assertions here?
So aspects of Jesse’s post had me vigorously nodding my head in agreement. Which made me start to wonder “are we all in this MOOC because we are education rebels?” But when I reread the document and yes, reflected on the content, I was thinking “Wait a second, this is what we do in an elementary classroom already” Explains why I agreed instantly with this perspective. So maybe the problem is we sometimes lose sight that while pedagogy moves into andragogy, we’re still talking about the same person as a learner and the same rules for learning apply. A safe environment for learning where we can experiment with ideas and thoughts. Maybe this is a radical thought in Higher ed. If so, I think that’s a sad commentary on how we treat each other as adult learners.
I also agree with Alexandre Sigrist blog about the top chef aspect. Top chefs are top chefs because they have building blocks of knowledge already in their heads about that allow them to create without a recipe (and cooking is about ratios!)
How does the rise of hybrid pedagogy, open education, and massive open online courses change the relationships between teachers, students and the technologies they share? Is the relationship changed? In Coursera and DNLE(Venture lab) I was still being given instruction and direction, assignments and grades. I wasn’t actively engaging with any professors (and in Coursera that was discouraged) unlike face to face where I am one of those annoying students who come up after class to continue a discussion because I’m not finished discussing a certain idea yet. Now in this environment I’m not sure if it is changed or not. I am, after all, typing away at this assignment when I should have already gone to bed because I have to work tomorrow. I am treating it with the same diligence I would any other assignment except for the free form of expression and lack of references. Is this not an aspect of the teacher/student relationship that still exists even in this course? You ask me something, I’m obliged to answer? Obviously in this environment I could chose not to answer, but I have been well trained by the system to do as I am instructed. (Ask my dog. He had me trained in two weeks.) In fact, doesn’t all education (not learning) begin with a fundamental hierarchical relationship?
What would happen if we extracted the teacher entirely from the classroom? Should we? You can remove the teacher as a guiding resource (present during the process) but the teacher’s fingerprints are all over the design and choice of content for the course. So why remove them? They’re present anyways.