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Experiences with my MOOC

MOOCs are like Chinese Buffets

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I liken MOOCs to the Chinese buffet that our family enjoys.  There are dozens of various dishes, and many that I want to eat a lot of.  So I developed a strategy.  First I just get vegetables that are not fried or coated in sauces.  Hot and sour soup is a must.  Next is an eggroll and those dumpling things, etc…This way, at least I can try to claim some healthiness and I don’t feel like a glutton.

Of course, Chinese buffets are great for people watching!  I live in the lard belt and there are a lot of very overweight people here in L.A. (lower Alabama) and South Mississippi.  I see many people that have just one plate that is just piled with food. Sometimes the food is layered on top of other food!    How can they eat all of that food? Don’t they know they can just eat a few things and then go back for something else?  Some of them DO GO BACK and then I wonder how they move for the rest of the day and if they eat dinner.

I took to heart the orientation material from week 1 and decided what I wanted to get out of this course.  At least I tentatively decided 😉  Now that we are in the throes of the course, I think that some things are becoming obvious.  MOOCs are good for self-directed learners and people who are motivated and interested in the topics.  I wish I could sample everything but I can’t put that much on my plate, so I won’t.  If you see me and think I need to try something, just let me know and I’ll go check it out!


My Goals for

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I’ve been thinking very hard how I want to benefit from this course.  Of course I want to increase my understanding of educational technology and see how others are using it.  More than anything, I want to try out these new ideas.  I’ll share my trials and tribulations with you on this blog, twitter, facebook and google plus.  I’ll comment on what you do and I hope that some of you will comment on what I do!

I’m a graduate student and I work primarily training faculty for LMS migration to Sakai.  Knowing more about educational technology will be a huge help for me.   I’ve been reading facebook posts in Change11 for the past few days, as well as twitter feeds and fellow participants’ blog posts.  I can definitely see that everyone has a wealth of information to offer each other.  This will surely develop into a great experience!

Why Did I Wait So Long to Blog?

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The main reason I finally started a blog is that I have enrolled in my first ever MOOC.   What is that? Well a MOOC could be a lot of things.  I used an acronym generator and it came up with “Morbid Oddity, Oblivious to Crapulence,” and a different one displayed “Maroon Oath Orgasm Counter.”  Those are pretty good phrases, but in this case, MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course.  Essentially, it is an online course that is free and open to anyone.  You can participate however you like.  The purpose, as I understand it, from watching the videos of the course facilitators, is to build network connections from engaging with fellow participants.  We are building our own knowledge base.

I watched Harvey Reingold’s interview of George Siemens and I was struck by several things.  I like the notion of the learning experience continuing after the course is over.  I am fortunate in that I work in a great learning environment and I am learning all of the time with my co-workers/fellow graduate students.  Hopefully I will forge new connections with people from all over the world who are interested in education.

This will be the first time I have participated in a non linear course.  I think it will be a good test.  I have never thought of myself as a control freak but I do like to manage things.  So here is a course that will have so much content that I won’t be able to consume it.  I appreciate the warning from the course facilitators.

Mostly I like the idea of taking charge of my own learning.  I think this is an important idea.  I get to pick and choose what I want to get out of it.  Maybe this is the ultimate control?

Lastly, I’m interested in connectivism as a learning theory.  I’ll be honest, I’m not quite sure as to its status. Is it a learning theory? Is it a knowledge management system? Is it a pedagogical approach?  I’m sure I’ll gain new understanding on this and many other things.  Here I go!


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