Isolation – WHY?

“Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?”
― Haruki MurakamiSputnik Sweetheart

In the lastest #etmooc Blackboard Collaborative Session Dave Cormier talked about “MOOC as a gathering place”.

Twitter is my gathering space, or perhaps the place where I like to hang out to learn. I use TweetDeck to organise my favourite spots to mingle, using lists to ensure I cross paths with people who provoke my thinking. I often invite myself  “home” visiting links and blogs of people who attract my attention!  I am so grateful for the sharing of my PLN. I have learnt so much from hanging around and inviting myself in. It brought me to #etmooc!

My mother was the most generous person I have ever known.  She taught me the rewards of giving, giving of time, support, friendship and love. She was generous to the point of exhaustion, but never once expected acknowledgement, award or returns. What she got was respect and admiration of people from all walks of life. From the grounds keepers son who she discreetly bought clothes for so he could go on school camp, to the Parliamentary Counsel whom she supported through his cancer treatment.  It wasn’t until I stood at her funeral, in a room full of strangers desperate to share their stories of her acts, that I truly got a sense of the impact she had on so many people.  She never once stood on a stage, held a room full of people or gained the attention on any great scale.  What she did do was give!

via the Practice of Generosity (Dana)

via the Practice of Generosity (Dana)

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”

― Herman Melville

If we live in isolation, in our classrooms, in our faculties, or in our schools, then we are truly missing out.



Freshly MOOCed

So I completed my first etmooc session today and to tell you the truth it was really fun! If you suspect a hint of surprise, you would be right.  Having never experienced a MOOC before, even having read a little about it, I was unsure of what to expect. Whilst the session was just an introduction to things that will be covered in the course, it was a great taste of what is to come.

What I have learnt already…

1. There are people from other countries who laugh at my jokes!

The chatroom was a buzz with people connecting/reconnecting, commenting, suggesting and providing information and support via links. It was exciting to see so many people engaged in an opportunity to learn or develop their skills and from so many different professional backgrounds.

2. Alec Couros has a good sense of humour and can tolerate being teased.

Alec is a good sport and exemplified the fun in learning. It was quite impressive how he managed to keep his train of thought, talk and read comments fly by all at the same time. The chatroom did at one point become somewhat of a “Couros love fest” with @gcouros being thrown in there, even though he wasn’t a part of it!

…and on an educational note..

3. Blackboard Collaborate is a great tool.

This was my “virgin” experience of this collaborative tool.  It was CRAZY! I definitely see the value in using this space, however, due the the hoards of people participating, the comment feed flew so fast it was hard to keep up AND contribute/graffiti on the slides Alec was presenting. As one participant suggested though, this forum would possibly not be where the significant learning would occur.  Instead, the development of groups and discussion via twitter or Google+ would be where the connections would come to bear fruit.

4. Plenty of folks are on the same page!

There are many people asking questions similar to mine and responding to prompts similarly.  This provides me with confidence that our collective voice will come up with some really interesting ideas and possibilities.  I am also looking forward to challenging some of the ideas presented. Alec prompted us to discuss what is digital literacy? It was amazing to see so many comments that were fear based.  This will be an interesting discussion me thinks!

5. Plenty of folks are on a different page!

There are many people within the etmooc crowd that are well established digital contributors and it is heartening to see their willingness to help those with less advanced skills/experiences. It was also great to see so many people taking the “ski jump” (as Alec showed) and entering the blogosphere and twitterland for the first time.


Needless to say that the first etmooc session has left me enthused for the next round, bring it on!


Excited about #etmooc 2013

I am looking forward to participating in my first MOOC via #etmooc! I am curious to experience the benefits of learning in an open online environment and engaging with and learning from others around the world. I have experienced “online” training in the past few years, however being located away from the “host” country and the time zone difference will be a new challenge. I am hoping that engaging in this course will support my digital skills and knowledge and advantage my classroom time and my role as a leader in my school.

#etmooc starts this week so stay tuned for further posts or follow the discussions at #etmooc on Twitter.

See below for my etmooc introduction and my first play with xtranormal animation!

My #etmooc introduction