Expanding Universes #etmooc #midleved

 

Small Universe: My Hub

I’m still getting a handle on this #etmooc. And I think I’ve got it. If you are still unsure, just watch the video at The Clever Sheep by Rodd Lucier. He discusses the hub of our #etmooc.

So, I translated / remixed that info into my own vlog:

 

 

FYI:

Lyrics: Natural Science by Rush

 

Larger Universe: More Hubs

 

But, what does that mean? I connect with an idea, then I send it out to others. Here’s my first shot: I attended the Intro Webinar Monday, Jan 21, 2013 with Alec Couros to discover the historical timeline of connected learning.  Of course, we’ve always been connected, just not instantly and to so many and at any time. He asked for reflections on a few questions, or our own, and I chose these to send out to middle level colleagues:

  • How important is connected learning? Why?
  • Is it possible for our classrooms to support this kind of learning? If so, how?
  • What skills and literacies are necessary for connected learning?
  • How do we develop these?

I’ve already sent these to my friend, Denise Krebs, in a comment on my blog, and will also ask for ideas from several other middle level educators I’ve met, sending out rhizomes into their hubs. Together, perhaps we can begin the journey of bringing connected learning to our students while we continue to learn connectedly ourselves. We can reflect and blog, connected our blogs together into a community as a model for our students. My next post will be my own first draft thoughts on these questions.

If you are a middle level educator, will you join us?

 

5 thoughts on “Expanding Universes #etmooc #midleved

  1. When I really ponder the idea of “connectedness” two thoughts come to mind. I think of my 18 yr old son and I realize that he has been a “connected learner” for quite some time. He and his friends have regular LAN parties where they interact with other like-minded individuals around the world. He has even learned to curse in both Mandarin and Cantonese! It was actually my older son who convinced me to join “Twitter” because it is so “important to be connected”. I polled the students in my class, more than half have Facebooks, one third have Twitter accounts, and they all have email addresses. They are 11 years old. Our children ARE connected learners. They already see value in being connected. They are already learning from one another this way. So then what is my role as teacher? I believe it is to bring the Pedagogy to this form of learning. How can I use my students’ need/desire to be connected to help them learn? The goal is not “to be connected”. The goal is to gain something from being connected. And hopefully it is not just learning to curse in several languages!

    The other thought that comes to mind after watching Rodd Lucier’s video and then your own vlog, is that I love the idea that we are all hubs, and our connections are the spokes; but what I SEE is a tapestry. I don’t see hubs and wheels. I see this incredible tapestry and how we are all threads in this tapestry. Each one of us unique and different, but together, creating something new. It makes me think of Covey’s sixth habit – Synergy. The whole is actually greater than the sum of its parts.

    So then what does THAT mean for my students? I think it means BIG things! I’m afraid to say what it makes me think of, because it gives me goosebumps and makes me think that as connected learners, our students might be able to change the world. I want to be in on that, have a say, make sure it is changing for the better!

    • Lorraine, I think you should copy this comment and post it in Google+ in the #etmooc community, and post it on your blog. It’s a well written commentary on the idea of connectedness. I see this too: “incredible tapestry and how we are all threads in this tapestry. Each one of us unique and different, but together, creating something new. It makes me think of Covey’s sixth habit – Synergy. The whole is actually greater than the sum of its parts.” So true. And the tapestry and synergy bring energy and community. We are always part of the whole, but sometimes we sparkle with an idea that lights the sparks for someone else and then the threads nearby catch the light and create an entire new glow in that community creation. Wow. I so enjoy your creative ideas.

      And how do we nurture this for our students? How do we move them, these middle schoolers, from the “me” to the “we,” the separate woven threads that together form meaning and vision?

      Perhaps students need to start sharing about their local areas, the place and the times. And within that see if they find some common areas into which to dig deeper and share about their communities, perhaps finding a project to survey, share, and solve?

      How do we take the loose threads and weave them together? Or rather, how do we guide the students to do so? Good questions we have to ponder!

  2. I think your question of what literacies are important for connected learning is a really important one and one that deserves a lot of attention. I saw that it got a few mentions in the webinar last night, but I hope people start digging in and providing things with more depth than “hashtagging” or “blogging”. It is a bigger thing to connect than to simply tag your own stuff or write your own words out. Let’s figure out what it involves, together.

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