Tuesday, October 23, 2018
I cannot lie. I think about retirement a lot. But instead of dreaming about all the free time I'll have to float around the lake, I'm actually obsessing a bit about all the things I still want to learn. So I submitted a professional development request to my employer BCcampus to take the E-learning 3.0 MOOC, facilitated by Stephen Downes.
Some of you might be thinking, wait, a PD request? MOOCs are free! And online! What are you in fact requesting? Answer: time. The request was approved the same day I submitted it. I think that says a lot about how my organization views learning online. BCcampus also offers free day care for on-location events. Ok, there's so much to say about BCcampus. Another post. :)
I love the idea of MOOCs and I'm also aware of the challenges. The first and ongoing challenge is how to situate yourself in a massive course. It's very easy to drift away but there are also many lures to keep you engaged. So far in this MOOC I'm appreciating:
1. Daily newsletters
I subscribed immediately because I know from years of experience that having things land in my inbox will remind me of what I'm supposed to be doing. That's right. Email! I've been relying on it since my first account at Simon Fraser University in the 80s. I told you I'm an old fogie.
2. A facilitator who is super busy and working his butt off to make this course happen
Why does this keep me engaged? Well partly because I've been a super busy facilitator working my butt off to make open, online events happen since the 90s. I told you I'm an old fogie.
3. Familiar faces
I'm not saying you're all old fogies out there, but I perked right up when I saw the roster of speakers. George Siemens kicked off the course, and I've been following his work for most of my life. Just kidding, but way before twitter. It probably goes back to the first edtech listservs. I told you I'm an old fogie.
4. The hub
This is where I will come to get a pulse on the course activity. Except I'm not sure it's the right place. Where is that list of familiar faces I mentioned in #3? Where are the videos? I'm either still not convinced that this is the best model for learning, or I'm a navigationally challenged old fogie.
5. The connections
I have complete confidence that I will learn a lot in this course. Why? Because I feel connected to the topic and many of the people involved. When I'm falling out of my hammock I'll just check in with my friend Jenny Mackness!