Finally! Today is the day I break the block, stop procrastinating and MOOC blog. So long, too much territory to cover. I won't even try. Even so, it is still long enough to invite procrastination.
I started impressions in 750words, an online writing application to develop the habit of daily writing. The purpose is just to write, get started writing and keep writing, with no other purpose ~ certainly not create blog posts, create documents, answer mail and so on, but the morning word dump gets me started.
Quick take on current state of my mooc activity at this point: if I had a compelling reason (i.e. credit, professional development, to add to CV) to or cared about optimum keeping up, I'd be in a drowning panic. I'm not though. Each mooc is a different gem, a view through a different lens that I'd rather not set aside in order to meet recommendations set by someone else.
Sure, I'd like to be getting more done but this is not all I am doing, not even all I am doing online. Try six+ blogs, four Facebook pages (in addition to profile and a number of groups), a bulging feed reader (even the filters have filters), four Scoop.it pages, three Pinterest boards, four Twitter lines (unsuccessfully trying to hand off local farmers market one), a NetVibes aggregation page and a static web page. No surprise that neither of the last get enough maintenance time. Moocs enrich and inform the lot.
That aside why am here? Orient, declare, network, cluster, focus and all that jazz?
Accompanied by a scattering of related, yet not quite connected notions, I am here to learn, meet new ideas and stretch my mind, all of which is happening, but there is no way to know what I am getting out of a course or be sure how I will use a new app until after and a ways down the road. Remember William James on learning? "We learn to swim in the winter and ice skate in the summer." There are, of course, the connections and network building. MOOCs are, after all, about connectivism and distributed networks.
Nothing new there. Just one early example among many: 50 years and more back, my mother taught swimming, ran the summer swimming lessons program and was Waterfront Director at Girl Scout camp. Some summers, she attended Red Cross Aquatic School. She told me that the program recharged her teaching, the workshops were always interesting but she learned the most from comparing notes and teaching ideas with other experienced WSI's (Water Safety Instructors) and also from reflecting on teaching practices to explain points and answer questions from less experienced and new WSI's). Mostly though, I remember getting a charge out of saying she was "on the waterfront."
So what do expect to get out of this round of MOOCs? What's a realistic takeaway? Allow that any answer will be just an early speculation. How do you expect to use it anyway? Not everyone is here for the same purpose. Baseline considerations of writing and rhetoric are not out of order: audience and purpose. Both are audience related: you as current audience; your once and future audience. Give same or different content, audience and purpose shape what you do with content ~ voice, medium, writing strategies, organization, style, etc.
I'm satisfied if my takeaway consists of a couple of tools I can use without investing time I don't have, more links (you can never be too, too thin or have too many links ~ the last is my only truly feasible option).
What I got out of Multiliteracies: meeting Scoop.it (Vance always sets good examples) and using it for non academic / teaching related curating; taking another look at Posterous, which I was already using and seeing more ways to use it; early and productive but inconclusive reflection on course and mooc directives; reviewing my own online beginnings and trajectory. The workshop endpoint was to create a PLE. I have one. Or several. They need make-overs, maybe consolidation. I haven't decided what or how. So I didn't. When the other courses started, Multiliteracies participation was a casualty of the deluge. No problem, I'll pick it back up when EVOmlit, the EVO iteration, starts.
As for the others, too soon to tell, more to come on future blogs. I can tell them apart and am getting a feel for each, its particular focus and unique culture as well as for natural overlaps (networks connecting!). Nor am I the only multi-moocquer. A number of POTcert11 and CMC11 participants follow Change 11, which seems to be the baseline, 'large loose baggy monster' (Henry James on the 19th novel, Dickens in particular) but not to be missed MOOC of the season.
I started out planning to blog regularly, alternating longer multiple mooc tagged posts with shorter mooc specific ones. You can see how well that's working for me ~ less a matter of being "homeless" on the net (a Juana sin bloga) than having too many. Instead, I have been participating more in group interactions and commenting on blogs. Not a conscious decisions, it just turned out that way. Some longer comments might have made stand alone blog posts, which some responders, posting the link as their comment. I am bookmarking more diligently than I used to but possibly too much when subscribing to feeds. This time I am tweeting and retweeting less. Does everyone else's pattern of social media change from mooc to mooc? If so, why? (I have ideas about my own but won't assume about yours). Is it even possible, even app'd up, to direct adequate attention to all participation modes?