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Any OLDS MOOC by Journal by RoughBounds

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Ronald Macintyre
10 January 2013

This is a place where I plan to will refelect on the  the material relating to the OLDS MOOC

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Ronald Macintyre
11:43am 13 January 2013

I signed up for this because I thought it would help me formalise (or at least structure) some of the things I have learned about how to design for open educational practices, mostly by learning through doing and watching. Just observing how things are done at the Open University and then adapting this to my own work with openness in the voluntary sector. I had thought about it, but never really allowed myself the proper time to think about learning design.

What I had not quite appreciated was that their would be so many synchronous requirements, I am annaul leave at present and doing some building works, so most of my days are spent on site (no online access), and it seems that most of the events are day time ones. Yesterday was "teaming up", thought I needed supplies and missed it. However, I am not sure what I missed as I cannot find any evidence of teams.


I suppose I wonder whether, given the temporal and spatial spread of learners in the MOOC (and MOOC worlds) does it make sense to have synchronous events?


I like Jeff's Openness and Sustainability proposal as it fits well within my own interests. However, I am also considering whether I should step outside my comfortable space and work on Arosha's Internet of Things


I suppose I should ask, who would have me ;_)

Brian Robertson
1:05pm 15 January 2013

Hi Ronald

Just heard you on the Converge session.  Pity the technology didn't work in full for you but well done at having a go.  Hope you managed to catch the whole session as it was quite interesting and informative.

All the best


Ronald Macintyre
9:56am 16 January 2013

It was working Brian, I just turned of my video and sound, as the only "learner" present I didnt want to somehow become the focus of discussion, more interested in what came over the twitter feed, I thought the blend of tools worked suprisinly well, time for Skype to up their game I think.

Ronald Macintyre
10:36am 16 January 2013 (Edited 10:37am 16 January 2013)

Having taken part in the Convergence session yesterday from my kitchen table in the West Highlands (I cut the video partly for bandwidth and partly as I was still in my outdoor clothes from working at the croft and eating my lunch), I now find myself at OU central (Milton Keynes) for a series of meetings.

It is not just the location that has changed, the sense of dislocation, of not understanding my place in the MOOC that I felt yesterday has also shifted. It was not the convergence session that did it, it was three things:

Brian (see above) has created an Auld Reekie study circle, and it looks like we have a quite quickly formed a study group that includes people I know (at the OU in Scotland) or "know the name". That social sense helps. The next question we have to answer in a desconstructed VLE (makes me think of Chefs, deconstructed is only for those that have the "education" and "taste" and "capital " to "understand" and "appreciate" them), is where do we go to study? If I think OU, I think about the carefully structured places and virtual architecture that we create to foster those spaces, I also think about the way that the tech does not always work, and the way people either "hack" the systems, or simply leave for other platforms (Facebook).  The freedom of choice is interesting, not least because the discourse that presently features in the Auld Reekie thread is a face to face meeting :-)

The other two factors are finding groups to "belong to"


The first is within my comfort zone, Waistell's Sustainability Cloudscape

My own work and interest is around openness and sustainability, I have been working with a voluntary sector organisation that supports community renewables projects to produce a practice based OER that encourages people to collect data and make changes in their community, sort of OEP to support activism "citizen science" and sustainability. Hoping to start a new project on fuel poverty in social housing, working with residents to create resources by and for those living with fuel poverty, I have questions to answer about the medium(s) which facilitate openness in this context, perhaps working in this cloudscape will help.

The second is personal Bandara's Teaching the Internet of Things

I am interested in the internet of things because I am interested in the ways that technology reconfigures social and spatial relations, BUT, I actually have no idea how these things work, I would like to know. Not for my sake, but for my kids sake, as they are interested in getting in behind what you see is what you get. Hopefully I can contribute my lack of knowledge as a resource. Perhaps create a "use case" based on "stupid Dad".

It could be a mistake joining two, we will wait and see. Though to be honest my choices were not bounded by the length of the course, and I can imagine that whatever is produced is unlikely to be anywhere near complete by March, maybe this style of MOOC might be a way to connect people with similar interests who want to colloborate?

Now I better head of to a meeting, when am I going to catch up with my reading, got to be soon

Ronald Macintyre
5:16pm 24 January 2013

In Week 2, time has become a factor, as has the "social glue".

Having made the "discovery" that this was a deconstructed MOOC last week, or at least I think it was a discovery, I felt I understood my place in the landscape. I was also confident that I had found groups to work in.


Taking groups first, things have not progressed as quickly as I anticipated and I think our groups are at risk of ending not with a bang but a whimper. Collective work is always a risk, even in the full time accredited campus based environment it comes with its own challenges. I would hesitate to say that the medium(s) through which we connect here condition a different reponse, but it is clear that online, desconstructed and open learning environments present unique challenges for those wishing to engage in collective or social learning. One of the social media issues that I encountered when looking at social learning and social searching was the way that social media tends to bring like minded people together who reinforce other peoples ideas rather than providing access to new and interesting areas - I tweeted this out,  ~oldsmooc_conv but no bites as yet. The other issue is how "sticky" these groups are without the social presence/pressures that come from either face to face contact or sustained long term engagement within a community or a platform. People can just walk away, that is not a feature of online, as we can design online learning systems that are "stickier", I think its a function of this deconstructed model.


I think I am going to pause this and come pack later ....

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