It was February, 1990. I had been using the Internet for about four months. Usenet, a distributed messaging system, was all the rage. For the first time, I started to see the possibilities of connecting and communicating with other people who share similar interests. I weighed in on a discussion about the Blues Brothers band. Last week, twenty-two years later, I found that post online. It’s not particularly embarrassing, though it does betray the naïvité and arrogance of the nineteen-year-old college freshman who posted it. He was so smart. I wonder what happened to him. When I made that post, sitting in the second … Continue reading Footprints

What’s not to MOOC?

The two-week break in the #change11 MOOC has given me an opportunity to catch up a bit, and to reflect on the experience so far. It’s now sixteen weeks since the start of the course, which has included thirteen weeks of content, a week of introduction, and a two-week winter break. According to Stephen Downes, the course has 2,000 registered participants. The course web site has had 38,000 visits. There have been 1300 blog posts tracked with the #change11 tag, and there have been 2500 tweets with the same tag. On a personal level, I’ve spent about 25 hours on … Continue reading What’s not to MOOC?

Analysis Paralysis

I started last week’s presentation on Google Docs with this xkcd cartoon. I’ve commented many times that my smartphone replaced more than half a dozen devices that I used to carry around with me. I no longer need a digital camera, digital video camera, mp3 player, navigation system, PDA, or wristwatch. I have access to the Internet all the time. But even if I didn’t, I could text Google and they would try to answer my questions. I can also send a message to anyone in my personal learning network, regardless of where they are, and typically get a very … Continue reading Analysis Paralysis

OK, Now What?

It was a message on Twitter from one of our administrators: @schinker ok now what? He had signed up for a Twitter account because he wants to connect to the community. He realizes that there’s a conversation happening online, using (but not about) social media tools. How is education changing? How are schools adapting to meet new challenges and increased demands with fewer resources? He wants to engage in the “big picture” questions that often get lost in the immediacy of managing a school district. So he plugged in. But he hasn’t yet tuned in. Now what? How do you build … Continue reading OK, Now What?

Building Blocks

And, in the blink of an eye, a week is gone. Two weeks. Still, the thoughts pile up. Scribbled notes on paper napkins, open browser tabs with pages I mean to read and comment on. A draft email. An unfinished conversation. We’re at the point in the Change MOOC that I’ve lost track of which week it is. There are a lot of unfinished thoughts about the last couple weeks. I’m trying not to feel guilty about it or overwhelmed by it. It’s part of the experience. I can’t do everything. One advantage of the MOOC is that I can take … Continue reading Building Blocks

Relearning Learning

I’ve been familiar with the concept of MOOCs since Dave Cormier started talking about them a few years ago. The concept is pretty simple. Course materials are posted publicly online. Anyone can participate. Facilitators provide materials in a number of different formats to start the conversation. These might include journal articles, blog posts, videos, or other things. Participants react to this material through the media that’s most appropriate for them. Some will use their blogs. Others may use Twitter or Facebook or Google Plus. They may discuss the ideas on webcasts. Achievement isn’t tied to the number of hours spent … Continue reading Relearning Learning

EdTech Talking

It’s an anniversary of sorts. Tonight, the EdTechWeekly crew is celebrating show #200. That’s two hundred Sunday nights spent talking about educational technology, new tools and resources, approaches and strategies and policies, and whatever else comes up. The webcast started five years ago this month as an experiment. The hosts participate in an audio conference and talk about educational technology. That conversation is streamed live online, so anyone can listen in. The listeners and the hosts are also in a text chat, which allows a level of interactivity. The whole thing is recorded and posted online as a podcast. The … Continue reading EdTech Talking