Friday, February 15, 2013

My Small Group and Intros

This is my first experience with a MOOC. For all you newbs, who like me have no knowledge of this concept, it stands for massive open online course. I am enthralled with the idea of open content and open software and the prospects for creativity/collaboration. I believe fundamental tenets of the 'open' movement  like shared knowledge, collaboration, innovation, connectedness, freedom, and creativity should be the basic frameworks of our schools. Instead, schooling is competitive, individualistic, out-dated, hierarchical, non-social, non-emotional, and filled with manipulative rewards and punishments. I am hoping my experience in this class will make school more of the latter for my students and classroom. 

The class is a rad experiment; the topic, the name, the idea, and, I assume, the people I will be working with give me hope that educational change is possible. I am excited to learn from not only experts, but also "regular" people who have backgrounds in many different fields. I am very interested to see if interactive online communities can produce authentic dialog and collaboration in a large classroom setting. In a class of over 24,000 people, we have been split into mini groups or communities. These pods will work intimately with each other throughout the course. It is possible to interact with the large group via Google+, but the small group is meant to be your cohort of sorts. In exchanging emails with my cohort, it is clear we have a very diverse set of people from all over the globe. This should make the class an absolute amazing learning experience for me. 

Here are some examples of "cohort" members

- A retired educator from Ontario, Canada
- Four individuals from Indonesia, two interested in web designing and/or programming
- A Vietnamese individual interested in IT and education
- A software/web developer from Vietnam
- A lifestyle magazine editor from Thailand
- A writer/ developer from England, living in France
- Someone who just switched to Advertising after working in Post-production/ Visual Effects. From Philly
- An architecture student who moved to U.S. three years ago from Vietnam
- An individual from Jakarta
- An education specialist and teacher from Philly
- Someone from the United States, now based in Singapore
- Someone working insurance in Thailand


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