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.

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