Friday, April 26, 2013

Choose One Thing

My title for today's post is what I've been preaching these days about technology. I've been telling teachers who are overwhelmed by technology to choose one thing and try it. Share with your students that you are trying something. See if they have better ideas about what you are doing. It's odd to hear myself advocating "one thing" because I have a hard time doing just that--choosing one thing. If you know me, you know that I often choose the hardest route. The most difficult path. The most challenging task. I like to spice it up. That way of thinking and learning takes its toll, and sometimes I need to slow down.

Like today.

I really needed to ride my bike and sort things out while spinning some pedals. I wanted to do a long ride. It's that time of year where I need to start logging longer rides to make the summer more fun. If I do fifty miles now, those killer rides when the weather is nice will be easier. But today, I was tired. It's been a really full week, and I needed to take a break. The ride I chose was long enough (34 miles) that it felt like a workout, but short enough so that I didn't get off the bike feeling demoralized by how hard the ride had gotten since I last did it. Fitness must be maintained or I suffer with the memories of how easy the rides/hikes/runs used to be. Right now, I'm doing just that. The days of inactivity in front of the computer do not contribute to fitness. Today, I just had fun trying to pedal smooth. Making no sudden breaks or sudden accelerations. Just easy. Admire the tulips. Laugh at the llama in the yard. Envy the dog sunning on a hill above Lake Samish. Easy.

I'm less than a week away from the conference I mentioned, and I didn't get to post as much as I would have liked in these last thirty days. I've done a lot writing in my head, and I know what I'm going to say. What I'm going to preach. What I'm going to ask. I'm a bit nervous, but I have small group of supporters who will be there. My mom might text me a photo of her budding Southern azaleas.

One of the questions I hope to pose to a room full of teachers comes with some risk. Teachers react differently than students. They sometimes forget how to be students, and they want to share with you what they do as teachers. It's tough to losen up and just learn. I want to ask how you make time to keep learning for the love of learning. Not just for the job. Not just for the CV. In all of the grading, the meetings, the conferences, the writing, the trainings--how do you take a look at the eye of the storm and find that one thing you want to focus on. How do you make it happen?

In addition to all I have going on work-wise, I am slogging through a requirement to graduate. I just stare at everything I've done for three years, and I don't even know where to begin. I have three components to pass: one I like, one I can handle, and one I can't stand. My face wrinkles up like I'm smelling something bad when I talk about it. I can't even pretend like I care about it. I'm pretty sure I've annoyed the teacher with my comments about it. This component I hate seems so useless and redundant, I really can't even bring myself to write it. But I must. I've been joking lately that when I finish this degree I'm no longer going to pursue a doctorate. I'm done with the degrees and all of the hoops that you have to jump through. Instead of studying for the GRE (again!), I'll take a painting class.

No sudden breaks or accelerations. Just something easy.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Finest of Work Songs

Three things happened this week that made me reflect on how crazy my teaching career has become, and how totally unprepared I was/am for what's next. This post is a combination of many ideas that I've been thinking about--don't judge me on smooth transitions or lack of coherence.

First, a much loved colleague has been hired at another college. It's that time of year. He's leaving us for a well-deserved position. I have just recently gotten to know him although we've been at the same school for the same amount of time. Every single thing that I have thought "Wow, that's awesome/cool/innovative/amazing/inspiring/interesting" this colleague either had a part in creating it or it was his idea. He put trust in me on a project that has never been done before, and I was so honored, I floated for days. This is such a huge loss for where I work, but his influence will live on. He's made our campus a better place, and I hope he knows that. I had to describe my ideal administrator the other day, and his leadership style came to my mind without a moment's hesitation. It's hard to not envy that campus got him!

Second, two chemistry teachers that I have enormous respect for are observing one of my online courses. Smart science teachers! Scary! As I discussed my fear with one of them, I admitted that being observed in an OL class is terrifying! At the same time, I've been observing local high school teachers all week. I am both the observer and the observed. If you teach college courses, I recommend making some time to connect with high school teachers by actually visiting a high school. You'll be amazed how familiar it feels (you'll see your former self in the hallways), and how very different their teaching environments are from ours. Endless kudos to high school teachers!

Third bizarre moment: I'm doing some training on reviewing online courses at the same time I need to develop my own. I feel like I'm being certified to be the architect when I really need to work on the construction of the building. 

Which makes me return to my presentation that is rapidly approaching and why I took some time to blog this morning.
Doing some more research on personal learning networks, I've raised the question to myself (and now to you, dear reader)--how big do you need it to be?

I think a lot of teachers have what my mentor/friend calls "peeps" in teaching. A lovely word from the world of hip-hop put into the context of teaching. I think many teachers have peeps that they email. Small groups that they tweet. Individuals they text questions to about what we do. We need peeps.

Every time I have seen REM live, Michael Stipe introduces everyone in the band and says, "We're REM, and this is what we do." I've always thought that was hilarious. Like we don't know, Michael! But I get it now. Saying it, makes it so.

PLNs, big or small, are a way of saying just that. "This is what we do."
And I'm not alone.

One of my peeps sent me this a few days ago and I got to read this morning. I sent an email response, and I thought I'd share it here:
I loved how the writer truly cares about the future and past of OL learning. Here's what I took issue with (bold emphasis mine):

Online learning not only will fail; in its current iterations it already has. We should not try to fix what's wrong with online learning now; instead, we should pretend it never happened, start from scratch, and begin playfully outside the borders of how we’ve always taught and how we relate to the machines that can help us teach. 

I don't think we should pretend the era he is discussing never happened. New OL teachers take a lot of comfort in learning about our mistakes. One teacher told me recently, "Wow, you really messed up a lot. I'm glad I won't have to go through that."  They have also said "This online stuff will change how I teach in the classroom." Maybe completely "starting from scratch" isn't the best advice. Maybe we're bored of the same menu!

We better best rearrange. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Spark of the PLN

Where did the week go? It's Friday morning, and I've got some major mountain bike fun on the agenda for the next three days, so I've got to get focused.

Great news! I've also been accepted to present at the Technology in Education Conference in Copper Mountain, CO.

This conference happens right after I'll be working in Louisville, Kentucky for nine days, so I'm thrilled to take a bike vacation centered around a conference in Colorado. Escaping "June-uary" in Washington is a sweet option. It's our worst month of weather, so I'll get back right as summer gets in to full swing.

I'm officially three weeks out to my ATL conference presentation, and I'm still in the planning phase. (When I write ATL, I think Atlanta). So what does the planning look like? Well, it's a lot of reading and clicking around on different blogs, websites, and database articles. It's note taking. Staring out the window and thinking. Building a giant puzzle to answer the question: How can I fit a variety of projects together?

A few ideas just fell into my lap this week, and thus, I haven't had time to blog. I've got a grant presentation, some new interviews, and my senior capstone project which can all blend together to make the conference presentations and a paper. I'm also involved with a few campus projects where I can actually do what I am researching about over the next five years. Sorry to sound so vague here, but I don't have titles for these projects because they are still being formulated. In addition, I got to observe a high school English class this week, and although I was exhausted by driving there in the PNW downpour, I left feeling really excited about my projects. I got see videos that the students had created about plays they had read. Their next step is to write an essay now that they have created a scene and read the play together. The students were engaged with one another and the teacher in what looked like to me Backward Design teaching.

This got me thinking.

What does backward design professional development look like? How do I advise busy teachers to make time for their PLN? How can I introduce this idea without making it sound like it's one more thing in an already very busy schedule? Who sparks the connection in connectivist learning? Who maintains the fire?

Who or what motivates you to keep going?

If I've sparked an answer, dear blog reader, then please answer. I'm all eyes.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Brick by Brick

I'm at a stand-still because there is a lock on my inter-library loan account. The horror! I have this huge list of books and articles, and I can't order any of them. Some kind librarian is going to either inform me that I have a huge fine, or there is a disconnect between my account and the ILL. Either way, I've had to rely on what is open-source or open-access. Lucky for me, there is a lot of useful information on the Internet.

As I continue to work on my presentation, I've been waitlisted for presenting at another conference. Weird. It's in a really far away place, so I kind of need to make plans if I'm going to go. I'm not going write about it until they formally accept me, but wow, this is a first for me. I'm waiting in the wings with the hopes that somebody will cancel. So. I guess I'm flattered.

Thankfully, what I proposed is very similar to what I am presenting on in May. In fact, the paper I'm working on, my grad class that starts tonight, this blog, and the presentation all ties together with what I learned from ETMOOC about connectivism and social cognitive theory. Who knew? During the ETMOOC class, I didn't have time to read any background on the origin of connectivism; I just started connecting. It kind of felt like I was dancing to music I didn't understand. But I jumped right in. And it keeps going--which I'm learning is the point of ETMOOC. What sneaky pedagogy!
Then I got a few comments and bits of advice that helped me along. It felt like a positive experience with learning. I started telling other people about this style of learning. They took notes. I worked with another faculty member on creating a grant so I could get paid to share my ideas. This tiny little brainstorm of mine is so fun, I don't feel like I'm working. I'm creating some new road, I suppose, but it's rough like the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix.

I just finished reading How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles of Smart Teaching by Ambrose, Bridges, DiPietro, Lovett, and Norman (2010). I took awhile to finish this one but I'm glad that I read it little by little. They take an anecdote or two, use research to help teachers understand the main theme of the anecdotes, and they give readers strategies to improve their practice. Simple. Worthwhile. Engaging. I'm particularly interested in the intersection between student motivation, student engagement, and self-directed learning. These authors put their seven principles in easily digestible chapters, and their focus on meta-cognition substantiate what is often hard to define as "good teaching" or what is sometimes referred to as "Best Practices." In all of the stories, the teachers failed to engage or understand the students and the writers point out what they could do differently.

What I can do differently is always on my mind, and as I dig through the student surveys from last quarter, they have some great ideas. Tonight I'm going to sit in a classroom and be a student. Brick and mortar style. I'll spend some time thinking about the last three years of my grad program and how I'm going to put it all together. Daunting? Yes.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Origins of my PLN

For months, I mean months, my phone was robo-dialed by the The Seattle Times. Every day, we looked at the caller ID and ignored it. One day, I had had enough. I picked up the phone. The salesperson immediately launched in to a sales pitch about a spring delivery deal. It was cheap. Then he said, "You'll have a direct impact on our local economy by improving jobs in our area." So, I said yes. That particular morning, I had just read the bios on my OL students who had just lost their jobs. They were bewildered and looking for a new direction in life. Many of them had never thought they would start over again in life. So, I said yes, I'll try your offer for a few weeks.

For weeks now, the paper has been thrown in the yard. Some days, I read all of it. Most days, I make sure to take the crossword puzzles out, and the rest goes into the recycling. My husband has even joked that we are paying somebody to litter in our yard everyday. I would love to the get The New York Times, but we live in too rural of an area for delivery, and I don't want a newspaper mailed to me. (Yes, I know I can access all of the news that's fit to print online, but I don't like to do my all of my recreational reading on the computer. Maybe someday when I have a tablet/iPad.)

So, do I renew it? I've been on the fence about that, but I'm leaning towards yes. I guess I like the litter in the yard, and we've been killing some valuable time with crosswords. I've even become my mother's daughter by clipping a few coupons!
I'm reading Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff. So I've got newspapers on my mind. As I drank my coffee and watched the rain fall by the inches today, I came across "Turn STEM into STEAM with arts education" by John Maeda. He got me thinking about the role of newspapers in my education. As a die-hard supporter of the arts and humanities, I worry about all the hype about STEM. Sure, I understand that American education needs a major overhaul in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. No argument here. And I often joke that this means job security for me because all of those majors still have to take composition courses.

This past fall, I wrote a recommendation for a female student to apply to MIT. She needed a humanities teacher's recommendation for her application, and although she got accepted with her own impressive accomplishments, I felt really excited that they cared to know about her creative communication. They weren't just paying lip-service to the humanities, and not only did she need strong communication skills, she also needed to be the best person I've met in the last five years. I can't wait to hear about her success.

Maeda got me thinking not just about STEAM, but about newspapers. Are they the origin of my Personal Learning Network? Op-Eds and editorials were the print version of what we do online now. I also can't remember the last time I read a paper journal. How does this connect to my PLN presentation? Well, I think newspapers are important to the evolution of any digital immigrant. In order to teach people about RSS feeders, blogging, and the like, using the newspaper as a framework can help. Maybe this example can help deliver my point.

Friday, April 5, 2013

PLN: Work In Progress

As I mentioned a few days ago, I wanted to wait to post my title and abstract so that I could solicit a few definitions from strangers and colleagues about their Personal Learning Network. I've spent the week collecting research, writing notes, and getting my plan together. I have a backwards approach to writing conference proposals that I'm pretty sure is textbook on what not to do. Instead of having a project in hand all complete, I write the proposal, abstract, and title without having the finished product. I think of them as research pieces that I want to bring together that a conference presentation will motivate me to complete. Motivation by conference acceptance--maybe not the most mature way to do research. 

It's not that I'm lazy. I just know that by the time I've finished a project, I'm so totally bored with it that I can't even imagine an audience that would care to read it. The goal of a conference presentation gives me something to work towards and I get to travel. I get to go and chat up complete strangers who may be interested in what I have to say. Most of all, I get to experience what I ask my students to do with their research papers. Doing what we teach makes us more empathetic to the students that struggle. Right now, I'm struggling with where to begin. 

So here is what I've submitted to the ATL as part of the eLearning and Instructional Technologies segment:

From Digital Immigrant To 21st Century Networked Teacher: How To Get There and Where We Are Going

Session Summary:
This presenter mentors faculty members who are Digital Immigrants (DI) about educational technology. As an enthusiastic DI, she researches ways to teach faculty members about technology without overwhelming them. What are strategies trainers/educators can use to empower faculty members who are not enthusiastic about technology? This presentation will examine how Personal Learning Networks can foster collaboration and empower faculty members intimidated by educational technology. The audience will gain strategies on how to create their own PLNs, how to help other DI's, and most importantly, how to learn from our best source of information about educational technology—the students.   

Objectives and Suggested Readings:

a. We are at a turning point in education where the digital divide is growing wider among faculty members. Some have embraced technology from the start—especially in online education--while others have resisted or are too pressed for time to upgrade their skills. There is no question that the increased use of technology, when done effectively, can increase student engagement. This presentation will introduce ideas about how forming PLNs can help digital immigrants take small steps toward increasing their use of technology by learning from others.

b. This session will be interactive because the presenter will ask audience members to join her PLN by using cell phones and/or laptops. She will give them strategies to create their own campus-connected PLN.

c. Audience members of all levels of comfort with technology will be encouraged to learn about and create a PLN.

d."Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants" by Marc Prensky (2001)
The Networked Teacher Diagram by Alec Couros

How did I get all of these pieces? How did I get this idea? 

Well, it's April and I'm still reflecting on what I did in the fall. That's okay! Deep breath. 
Like all good conference presentations that are interactive, the discussion leader (me, in this case) will need to tell the audience the origin of my ideas. I've been studying professional development ever since I won my first travel grant from Cascadia Community College. I couldn't believe that the college was going to pay for everything--hotel, conference fee, food, travel--to a conference in San Francisco. I also won a travel grant from the conference itself, and thus began my fascination with how we teach teachers. My graduate program in English never mentioned this aspect of teaching because the working assumption was that the graduates would carry on by going into PhD program after the terminal MA program. That was not the path for me (though I tried). In fact, I had very little preparation for the realities of being an adjunct teacher. Much of what I learned came by painful time-consuming mistakes, and the silver lining in this work was professional development grants. And the many cool students I've taught over the years. (One just finished his doctorate! Life, please slow down!)

Then the crash of the recession dried up the funding to travel out of state. Suddenly if you wanted to learn anything, you had to stay in state. I looked into the state tuition waiver, and I decided to apply for a MEd program that I would chip away as I worked full-time. This MEd program offered three paths that all seemed beneficial to my life as a teacher. I could A] increase my knowledge of pedagogy, B] explore the options of doing a PhD or an ED, and/or C] I could explore instructional design. Over the past three years, it's been incredibly hard being a graduate student while working full-time. During my MA, I had plenty of time to be a student (although I didn't see it that way then). I had time to make friends, hang out discussing projects, and lose myself in grad school drama. Not this time around. I had three-four comp classes and freelance work. A busy social life that revolves around exhausting things like riding your bike in races. A book in the works about my backpacking experiences. 

The time that I could devote to learning had to be structured. The time had to matter. Professional development in this phase has not been easily classified or defined on my CV. 

Then came IT 546: Educational Technology. As I have mentioned before, this class suddenly tightened up all of the loose strings in my teaching and scholarship. I felt even more open to this class because of my colleagues at Everett CC who created the Innovations Academy. I spent five days learning from people who have always been a part of the coolest ideas on my campus. I made connections with new people and ideas, and I started fall quarter energized in a way that I haven't been in years. 

One of the first readings in IT 546 was Prensky's article, and although I had heard the title Digital Natives before, it was the first time I took time to think about it beyond dismissing it as marketing term. Turns out, Prensky put into words what I was experiencing both on my campus and in my grad class. There were people who cared a great deal about learning new ways to teach not just for themselves but for the students. They were seeing professional development not just as something that was required by their contracts, but as something that they want to do.

So who am I interested in? I'm interested in teachers who want to learn but feel overwhelmed by what they don't know. They are skilled. They care about their content. But they just don't have the time to learn the how to use some new tools.  

So I got this idea that I, as a Digital Immigrant who has gone from being somewhat reluctant to excited about technology, can help my fellow teachers. It doesn't feel like work.

One of our assignments in the IT 546 was to explore Pinterest, and I was amazed by what I saw. The K-12 teachers are all over it! They've created such a collection of information. 

Then I stumbled into the ETMOOC community, started this blog, and thus, I took a chance on this conference proposal. Now, I have to figure out where "we are going" since that's, um, in my title!

I tell people that I'm old enough to remember what it is like to make a mixed tape, but I'm young enough to not feel intimidated by technology. Teaching is a complex job, and the more we can support one another, the better. The by-product of student engagement is that it makes your job more fun. 

What's one tool that you would share with a faculty member that has revolutionized your teaching? Something easy. Something you think is worthwhile. Anything. Tell me one thing you do that's changed your teaching. One small step that led to huge changes. All disciplines and levels welcome! 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

See You At The Movies

Rest in peace, Roger Ebert. 

As I spent the day researching and writing, the news of his passing came through my Personal Learning Network. Just some news of the world, albeit sad, got me thinking about how I learned as a kid. I watched At The Movies religiously growing up the 1980s. Reflecting on what I learned from Siskell and Ebert, I'd have to say, they modeled how to make an argument about what you like and didn't like. They helped me see that you have to stick with the text, and that personal attacks can only get you so far. We live in a thumbs/thumbs down world, but life is often more complex than that. Ebert modeled, although I wasn't smart enough at the time to recognize this, that you can make a living doing something you love.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

PLN Plan 2013

I have no idea if anyone will read this blog now that the ETMOOC course is over. That's okay, really. I've met a few folks through that experience, and I follow their blogs. With the magic of the Internet, perhaps I can pick up a few readers in this next phase. I started this blog as part of the assignment for ETMOOC, and at the time, I thought I would begin another blog once the class was over. I felt pressured by the idea of coming up with something clever for a title, and I chose a very, very generic URL. How very un-English major of me!

I'm going to keep the EdTech2013 title because this is the year that I stumbled upon a new research love. Like all great loves in life, it entered my life when I wasn't even looking for it. All along, everything I've been doing has come together. I put off a course in my grad program until the very end, and I had the worst attitude going into the first night of class. Reviewing my notes for the first assignment yesterday filled me with a deep shame. Here's what I wrote:

"The 'new culture of learning' honestly wears me out. Not only am I supposed to be a master of content, I need to innovate constantly and be an IT specialist. I have to become a seer of the future, a cheerleader for student creativity, a personal counselor, and a graphic designer by never leaving my electronic devices. And I have to do all of this with the knowledge that I am a part-time, contingent worker with no future of full-time employment."

Whoa. And I was in good mood when I wrote that! One of my colleagues responded on the discussion board that she thought "it doesn't have to be that complicated." She reminded me that we can take one thing at a time and as long as the students know we are trying, they will try too. When I read that, I really wanted to delete my post. What I decided to do instead was suspend judgment about the class. I spent hours checking out of the readings, links, and the "Big Questions" that the teacher created. I could sense that she really loved what she was teaching, and although her background is in K-12, she teaches college students.

After week two of her course, I was hooked. I haven't had this type of realization about my learning since I was undergrad. I saw educational technology as a way to bring together my work as an English teacher, adult educator, and instructional designer. The research about curriculum instruction and assessment has even made me love statistics (honest). All of my work, both on campus and in freelance can be contextualized and analyzed by the great umbrella field of Ed Tech. Where have you been these last ten years? 

Truth be told: I get really bored with scholarship surrounding the teaching of writing. I read it because I like to stay current, but I've never found a research question that can sustain me into the creation of an article for publishing. I'd rather write about my experiences with trail crew or hiking. I've been able to create a few conference presentations, but the Comp. Rhetoric articles have never come. Believe me, I've tried. I might still try.
Give me a question about teaching and technology, and I'm ready to go! In fact, I can't find enough time in the day to make it happen. This blog is a start, and so, that brings me to what I'm working on next and why I am keeping this blog title through 2013.

So, turn the record over, and let's listen to something new.

On May 2, I am presenting at the Assessment, Teaching, and Learning Conference, and I'm going to use this blog to draft my 90 minute presentation (yikes, that's a long time). I've got most of my research on paper, and I'm changing some ideas since I wrote the proposal. I've got amazing colleagues going to this conference, and I'm going to see a beloved friend who lives in Idaho. I might even do a mountain bike race that weekend. It's the best of all possible worlds coming together in Spokane, WA! Who knew?

The Personal Learning Network Plan is to use the next thirty days to create what I'm presenting. My inspiration for this type of transparency is Stephanie Delaney's Stephanie Plans a Class blog.

I'll post my title and abstract in the next day or two, but for now, just know that my intended audience is teachers who are interested, yet intimidated by, all of the technological choices for teaching. I hope to reach people who mentor others or who are interested in learning about Ed Tech, but never have the time to brush up on their skills. 

My first question, for my readers (if you exist) is to solicit definitions of your Personal Learning Network (PLN). I'm interested in learning from people who are relatively new to creating a PLN.  I'd prefer layperson language, and not URLs for definitions. If you rock my world, I'll cite your work and provide a link to your blog or website.

How do you describe/define a PLN to people who have never heard the acronym?

Monday, April 1, 2013


The end of ETMOOC coincided with the start of finals week and the beginning of spring break. My MO was to grade, grade, grade, and get outside! My Spring Break 2013 was filled with a gorgeous powder day, long miles on the mountain bike and road bike with friends, and lovely days in the garden. I spent three whole days off the computer. As much as I love being connected for learning and teaching, I need a break from technology and my work. Lucky for me, I've got a gig that allows such a lifestyle. You people who are connected constantly confuse and fascinate me!

Sorry, I missed the summary deadline, but for what it is worth, I want to finish the last assignment. My first MOOC will go down as a success. I may not be as eloquent as I'd like to be in this final post, but spring quarter has begun.

Think back on your time in #etmooc and share your final thoughts about the ideas and the people you have connected with.

Reflecting on the experience, I wish I had had more time. This MOOC came into my life at a time when I had one of the busiest quarters of my life. Busy doesn't even describe it really. I tried to walk my talk by committing thirty minutes a day to my personal learning network, and sometimes there was an overlap between work and this class. Every person I connected with was smart, engaging, respectful and worth my time.

Like all good people in my life, I connected with them wishing I had five more minutes in my day.
My dog, Elroy, gives spring break four paws up!

What have you created or curated?  What tools did you try?

I created this blog! Woohoo! What I will do with it from here, is still on my mind. I'm going through a bit of a career change (or not), and much is unknown right now. I gave Twitter a shot, and I'm still trying to figure out how it works for my learning. There is so much that I often get really overwhelmed by it, but I'm going to give it a year. I've used PhotoPin, Google+, and Diigo. I've bookmarked a lot to return to, so ETMOOC has given me this wonderful digital library with resources.

You've almost been like a really great teaching librarian. What I mean by that is, you've shown me the way by helping me discover what I want to learn. Creating my Pinterest profile was really the start of all of this. A good teaching librarian asks, "Have you heard about this? No? Let me teach you and then you can decide if it will help you. And then we can try..."

How are you making/have you made your learning visible?

This blog has been the most transparent thing I've ever created. I've been really hesitant to share my thoughts, and it terrifies me how much information people can find out about me and each other online. That being said, if the information is out there, I may have some control over what is seen. I've connected with some amazing people, and it's been fun to share my thoughts with friends/colleagues by sending them a link to this blog.

What goals did you have when you began #etmooc ?  How did those change or evolve over the last 10 weeks?

My goal was to check out a MOOC that I was interested in while my students took their first MOOC. This was an experiment in an Honors class where I had the students take a MOOC that was connected to our course theme while I was a student "with" them. I'm still writing/thinking about this experience, so tune in for more blog posts. This is something every teacher should try once. We don't model being a student enough, in my opinion, when we teach. Students are motivated by seeing us learn.

I'm not going to pass judgment about whether MOOCs are worth the hype until I have something intelligent to say about them. ETMOOC has opened my eyes to the possibility of this style of learning, and I got way more than I bargained for in this class. I've evolved in ways I'm still reflecting about, and it's all very positive. 

How do you plan on staying connected to the people and the ideas?

I'm connected with the ETMOOCers via Twitter, so my goal is to expand my use of that medium to see what the "graduates" are up to. I have weeks and weeks worth of reading bookmarked!

Imagine that Twitter goes away. How would this connected network of #etmooc endure or stay connected? What would you do?

If the Twittersphere disappeared tomorrow, life would go on. I still think much of what is on Twitter is pure garbage, but I'm not quite against it either. I really dismissed it until somebody took on the persona of the snake that escape the Central Park Zoo, and that won me over. That's funny! I have written down the people I'm most interested in following. Really! How gauche! I believe in the power and the pen for my brain, so hopefully Google would still exist and I could find them some way. Diigo is calling me!

How have you changed as a digital educator and citizen? How do you see yourself (your identity) now?

This is the exact question I am dealing with right now. I'm applying for two instructional design positions, and I'm (re)creating who I am as educator. I am still, and always will be, a writing teacher. This is my tenth year teaching writing, and reviewing my CV has been a reflective, slow, painful process. For instance, there is a huge gap in my CV from 2005-2008 when I worked constantly. I have very little to show in the way of professional development. Those were not especially happy years for me personally, and it was all due to the amount I was working. I was not chosen for a position that I really wanted, and it took me awhile to figure out what's next. In 2009, I made some radical changes in my personal life, and my professional life has been slowly evolving. Everyday, it gets a little better. As I mentioned before, most of my online persona has been within the learning management systems. When I saw a listing for a job that mentioned "an online presence," I laughed. I didn't have one! My mid-pack bike racing results weren't going to help me!

So. Here I am. I don't know exactly how to sum up my learning, ETMOOC, you are the first step toward something different. Something I've been looking for, and for that, I thank you.