Sometimes I open a book to a random page to see what little gift I might receive. This is how E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC has felt this week. When I can steal away from my e-mail queue and long task list and check the #EDCMOOC Twitter stream or Google+ community, I never know what will catch my eye. Each time I have opened the streams this week, I have learned something new that has helped me think about my own work in new ways. These are some of the gifts I have opened this week:
1. NEW TERM: I came back to the Digital Viking term coined by Amy Burvall when Linda Saukko-Rauta shared a Digital Viking infographic. The students in the MSLOC Creating and Sharing Knowledge class this quarter are working on enhancing their own personal learning networks and are being challenged to push themselves out of their comfort zone. I can’t wait to share Amy’s five Digital Viking behaviors with them, especially Hoist the Sail- Embrace the Fail! See #msloc430 tweets to follow that class.
2. NEW TECHNIQUE: I participated in a collective brainstorm developed by Felicia Sullivan that asked Who are the MOOCers? . This has given me some new ideas for ways to use Google Apps for synchronous or asynchronous brainstorming. We have been using Google Docs for awhile now in various ways (create affinity diagrams synchronously using Google draw, virtual class whiteboard for hybrid class sessions, online brainstorming/reflection with multiple students typing in the same Google Doc, etc.). When people are brainstorming in the same document and seeing each other type, they start responding to each other and building off ideas in real-time. Using a Google Form in the way Felicia tried offers a new way to quickly gather people’s thoughts without being influenced by what others are typing. It’s always good to have options depending on the goal of the activity.
3. NEW TOOL: I participated in a Voice Thread created by Felicia Sullivan that helps students who learn asynchrously talk to each other, allowing for greater connection and embodiment. This has given me some ideas for news ways to set up discussions and online engagement that are flexible enough to work across multiple time zones, a discussion I just had with colleagues last week.
4. NEW CORNER OF EDCMOOC-LAND: I found a category in the Google+ Community called Digital Artefacts that has helped me populate my Digital Artifact note in Evernote with a collection of promising tools to explore. I’m waiting to get my invitation to newhive.com, one of the tools I found.
It is Friday of week 2 and I started reviewing the resources for this week tonight for the first time. I don’t feel behind though; I’ll catch up over the weekend. But even if I don’t, I have benefited greatly from being part of the online community. I am connecting with new people, sharing resources with my colleagues in the @NU_MSLOC program and learning to turn off the task-oriented part of myself that often prevents me from pulling up out of the weeds. In short, I have new enthusiasm for the work that I do. So thank you for the gifts fellow MOOCers!