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#CMC11 — I’m here. I think. I am.

September 13, 2011

I’m really looking forward to taking the next step in my education about MOOCs and online learning. I started last fall with PLENK2010, an exploration of personal learning environments.

When that MOOC started, I didn’t have a clue what a MOOC was or what a personal learning environment, or PLE, was. And the first few weeks of readings and discussions had me more confused than ever.

But ever so slowly, the ideas began to coalesce into something understandable and well worth pursuing. The concept that I was in charge of my own education, not some teacher or some prescribed list of facts, seemed alien to someone who lives in a “No child left behind” world of education that is all about test results.

But how welcome it was.

I had not been in classroom setting for decades precisely for those reasons. I had had way too many burnt-out instructors who could have hardly cared less if anyone in their classes learned anything or the teachers that only saw things their way. But I hadn’t stopped learning.

That made me want to apply what I had gained to my master’s program, which is online and progressing just the way I had hoped after discovering how to work within my own PLE.

Now, I’m back in a MOOC and am relishing the chance to learn and share and network with many more of you.

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From → #CMC11

2 Comments
  1. Hi John,
    Just discovered your blog and this post in particular ;o) I like the fact that you are open about things. I am very interested to hear more about burnt out instructors and how you feel teaching has changed or is changing in online and open settings. How can instructors help learners to learn or is this something that comes naturally to all of us? And if this is the case, what are the conditions to make learning happen? Just a few thoughts and questions.

    Chrissi

    • We all get burnt-out every once in a while and I seem to have been the torch for more than a few of my teachers. I don’t know if it’s because I work at my own pace, which is sometimes slower than others, other times faster. I think this is where online education can be so wonderful, because the learner is often setting the pace. Sometimes it’s in the framework of a class, but the work for that class could be just the start of something bigger. I’ve written a few grad school papers so far that were stunted by the time I had to write them in or a pre-set page limit (I somehow can always fill pages). But I plan on going back to them in the future and see what’s there that I could expand on. I haven’t finished learning all there is to know about those topics, that’s for sure.

      How can instructors help? Gauge a student’s enthusiasm (or lack thereof), nurture curiosity and be a support, but remember that the student is the one doing the learning. It’s not about what the teacher knows, though the teacher hopefully has some knowledge to impart and some communication skills in order do that (too many teachers I’ve encounter have no practical skills in sharing knowledge; they can neither write nor speak coherently). And please, do not condescend to your students. I know 5-year-olds hate that in kindergarten, and graduate students hate it even more.

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