“Why do I participate in this MOOC?” I ask myself. … Because I’m challenged to learn by making, largely using digital media. I connect and collaborate with passionate educators & learners who I otherwise would not have the opportunity to meet.
The initial motivation that compelled me to sign up for #clmooc was to learn, and then transform the learning to use in my classroom. And I’m quite confident that this will indeed happen.
The wonderful surprise is that in the process, I find myself participating in a cutting edge collaboration that creates real community and learning in the digital realm! This MOOC shows me that a digital learning space can, in fact, be innovative, independent, and intensely human. This is groundbreaking; and although I’m only touching the surface in this endeavour, I feel that we’re at the threshold of something new.
Another way that I benefit from this MOOC, which is evidenced by its connection to the National Writing Project, is that I’m writing! Though I don’t primarily identify as a writer, I do write when I have a reason to. As an educator, I like to do what I ask my students to do. If I ask them to write, then I too must write. So while writing is not (yet) my passion, it is embedded in learning. Writing in this MOOC helps me to mine the ideas and perceptions that have arisen as I work my way through the reading and activities. It enables me to extract and synthesize crystals of meaning and expression.
And writing takes many forms. When we choose from a wide array of digital media, making meaning through writing can unfold in a variety of ways. I do believe that our choice of media can affect the texture, nuance and perhaps even the direction or emphasis of what we write. This MOOC encourages me to discover new modes of expression that in turn shape the outcome of the writing.
Finally, MOOC organizers and participants, I really appreciate and admire what you are doing, especially in the difficult climate that many of you, as American educators, find yourselves. It is heartening that you continue to explore and disseminate innovative learning and teaching paths in authentic and compelling ways. Thank you for this.