Photo Credit: madelinetosh via Compfight cc
I made a lot of rash promises in my last post. I said I was going to follow my 5 EVO sessions, plus the SEETA course, plus the OLDS MOOC. I said that, in this blog, I was going to give weekly digests of my learning progress. People even took me seriously. In the meantime I signed up for two more MOOCs on Coursera, which promise to be very interactive (EDC MOOC and Fundamentals of Online Education). At work, the week was hectic. And I have a presentation for a conference to write.
Still, I am here as promised. A little late, but I have definitely survived Week 2 in all my online environments. My level of participation was not the same everywhere at all times and I suppose I can say that in some of my groups I was sampling and browsing rather than studying seriously. And whether I do all my weekly tasks or not will depend on the amount of workload. OLDS MOOC, for example, is a fascinating course, but the workload is a bit too much for me at the moment. So, for this course I have a new plan - I will do what I can and curate the rest somewhere for further reference. I still might decide to share snippets from this course in my blog, but this definitely won't be enough to give you an idea about the scope of the MOOC. The same probably goes for my new Coursera MOOCs.
So, let's start with Neuroscience. This week we looked at the link between the emotional brain and motivation. I find the following video fascinating:
What it is saying, in a nutshell, is that the way we raise our children or teach our young students can influence how smart they are in ways much more direct than we thought it possible. Is it surprising, then, that adult students need so long to start believing that they can learn? People who come to my classroom have usually spent 12 (yes, twelve) years of their life sitting in English language classrooms, failing to learn the language. It takes quite a while to convince them that they are not going to fail again.
Several years ago I created this PowerPoint on learning and motivation:
Sorry for all the bullets and death-by-PowerPoint stuff. This was before my online days. One thing that I am especially interested in (and I believe this shows in the PowerPoint) is the supportive power of groups on an individual's learning.
It is good, then, that this week in Mentoring we read this text on scaffolding. I find the questions provided in the text very helpful, something that every teacher can use in his/her class.
And in OLDS MOOC we focused a lot on personas and scenarios. Thinking about who your learners are going to be even before you meet them is a useful starting point. Here's a PowerPoint explaining scenarios and here's the template we used. An important part of scenarios are personas. And the template for a persona card is here. One last snippet from last week in OLDS MOOC would be these cards. And here's a short video on how to use them.
Let's finish with Multiliteracies. This course is the glue that binds everything together, it is the reason why I am able to cope with multiple sessions. Multiliteracies has given me something essential - the method. You remember how at school your teachers told you that the most important thing to learn is how to learn? By learning about MOOCs through an environment similar to a MOOC, I have learnt that all this is not about curriculum and homework, but about me. And it is OK to forget where you are supposed to be and what you are supposed to do. It is OK to choose not to do something if you don't find it relevant at the moment. It is also OK to modify assignments and do them your way.
Last week in Multiliteracies was the week when we were supposed to declare, i.e. to state our own learning goals.
My goals this year are as follows:
1. to reflect on the course topics
2. to reflect on my past and present experience in various MOOCs
3. to reflect on my 2011 Multiliteracies posts
Well, here, of course. Where else?
I would like to finish this with a short Animoto video I created for my MachinEVO class: