eduMOOC From a K-12 Perspective

I've been participating in eduMOOC for about a week and a half. It is a confusing environment but one that I'm enjoying. It's a bit like an unConference, but spread out over eight weeks instead of two days. Like an unConference it is up to each participant to not only make the most of the experience, but also create the experience.

One of the important functions a MOOC provides is an audience. It elevates my efforts, and I'm sure other participants' efforts, to know that there are hundreds of others paying attention to what is happening. There is the sense that if one is able to say something interesting then others may well comment on and build on that idea. This is definitely motivating.

I've also had the thought that MOOCs have similarities to subject-focused social networks, specifically Nings like ISENET (or perhaps even ListServs). Nings are also places where it is essential members participate in building the learning environment. Nings, in terms of length of existence, can be thought of as being on the opposite side of MOOCs from unConferences. So in unstructured learning environments we have unConferences for very short intense gatherings, MOOCs for medium term gatherings, and Ning like spaces for ongoing learning communities.

My current feeling is that it would be difficult to conduct a MOOC for 7-12 students because of the lack of structure in a MOOC. This plays into the Wiley/Siemens/Downes debate that erupted during the first week of eduMOOC. However, I think it might be very productive to conduct a MOOC for K-12 educators. I'll be playing around with this idea in the weeks ahead.

A few K-12 educators have started a study group for K-12 online learning on the eduMOOC wiki. We are off to a productive start and I hope we will continue to build on that foundation.

Finally, my small attempt to build some gamification into eduMOOC has not gained any traction. This is also something I'll be looking to work on over the next six weeks.

So far eduMOOC has been very engaging. My thanks go out Ray Schroeder and others who have organized this wonderful learning opportunity.