lørdag den 6. april 2013

Activity 12. Backgrounds to MOOCs


  • Watch this interview in which George Siemens and Dave Cormier are interviewed by Martin Weller, about a range of issues concerning MOOCs. 
  • Read McAuley et al. (2010), The MOOC Model for Digital Practice.This is a lengthy report so if you do not have time to read it all focus on the Executive Summary and the section entitled ‘Gaps in knowledge about MOOCs’.
  • Read Weller (2012b), MOOCs Inc.
Before we examine MOOCs in more detail, briefly consider if the MOOC approach could be adopted in your own area of education or training. Post your thoughts in your blog and then read and comment on your peers’ postings. 

Could the MOOC approach be adopted in my own area of education or training?
My own area is teaching in the secondary level in the European School of Brussel. My pupils are in the age between 11 and 14. Could the MOOC approach be adopted here? My answer will be, that some aspects and experiences from the MOOC  are very re-usable in my teaching. Most of the MOOC  I've seen are meant for adults, but I've gained new pedagogical ideas and found lots of OERs that can add more quality  to my teaching. 

For years I've been working with the students online. I scaffold a lot of the ressources, my ideas, my students productions and/or questions etc on my website. We work daily with web2 tools and are more independent of time and geography. 

I teach in the danish section of the school, and I'm supposed to teach in danish. Which I do. But the European School syllabus differ from the danish, so I can't cover everything with danish books etc. To add sources I find a lot of OERs and organise them with our (my and my students)  own materials. These OERs are in english (a few in french) but we talk and write about them in danish. All of my students are taught at least three languages, so it's not a problem for them. 
Obviously I've learned to appreciate the openness before my MOOC experiences (that   began in the autumn 2012, but became "serious" with the EDC MOOC offered by Edinburgh University via Coursera in February this year). 

I don't want to give a list of OERs, that I came to know through my MOOC work, but I will mention the code.org, because it offers an exceptionel learning ressource. It's so good, that even I have learned how to code now. In a beginners level, oh yeah, but I use it almost every day now to make my blog and website appear as I want. Or to to see through and understand a web sites source code, so I can pick stuff. Quite appropriate that  I learned about the Creative Common Licence last week :)     CC is certainly a subject I'll include in my future ICT lessons. 

The most important learnings I bring with me from the MOOC , are the power of peer to peer assessment and the power of explaining through pictures (we already use movies and Prezi a lot, otherwise it should have been mentioned here, too). Now I've told my students to use blogs and assess each others posts in our history subject about China. The students are 12-13 years old. In the beginning I gave them very specified categories to assess and some examples of how to do it. They both had to learn how to do it AND to gain confidence letting other students assess their work. 

In a weeks long course about bullying their final assignment was in two parts: The first was a  written statement about their view on bullying. The second was to make a visualisation of their written statement. For this picture they could mix existing pictures or make their own from scratch. Some of them mixed pictures with word clouds made in Tagxedo. All of these remixed or produced pictures were uploaded to our wall in Padlet

As mentioned above, some of the elements of the MOOCs can improve my class teaching. In addition to that, the MOOCs are a valuable source for me as a teacher to learn and learn and learn. And purely personal I enjoy to learn and it gives me both energy and new inspiration. 


Short about working with the Google Hangout interview.
For the work with activity 12 I first had to watch a 40 minutes Google Hangout where Martin Weller interviewed George Siemens and Dave Cormier. 

My brain is simply not capable to focus on a visuel monotonous video. Even though it's very experienced people who really had interesting views to share, I keept on falling a sleep or unconsciously engaged my thoughts with other things. So I had to work active with the video to really catch the message. 

To be able to split the interview in some chapters and add some notes, I used listentoyoutube.com to download the soundfile from the youtube video. As it came down as .mp3 it was a quickly upload to Soundcloud, where I used the comment field to add notes and chapters to the file. 



 In that way it became easy to get an overview of the interview by looking at the comment stream (from bottom to top). That worked for me.








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