Over the last couple of years, I have tried to follow and participate in the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), Connectivism and Connective Knowledge, that George Siemens and Stephen Downes lead on the learning theory Connectivism. Yet, ultimately, as my own teaching responsibilities got rolling, I inevitably fell off the pace and ultimately had to abandon my efforts.
Each failure was instructive, however. With CCK08 I was just kind of fascinated by the whole concept of an open course and curious. I never really got off the ground in terms of the course. In retrospect, I am not sure that I was completely ready to understand Connectivism at that moment anyway, being far too consumed by other demands, as well as fascination with my one year-old daughter. I had been keenly interested in some of the things that Dave Cormier had been doing, most notably the Living Archives project. That lead me, in that peculiarly serendipitous web way, to discover Alec Couros’ open course after the fact. Yet, it was around that time that I became more aware of the work of George Siemens and Stephen Downes, which has been a boon to my thinking on technology and education. So CCK08 served as to open my awareness and widen my radar.
By CCK09, I was determined to jump in and participate in earnest. It started well, The first couple of weeks I was deeply engaged and making all of the rookie mistakes of open course experience, trying to follow everything without any possibility of success. I did this despite the emerging understanding that it is impossible to drink from a firehouse. Plus, starting a new school again, with a new course to plan, and a newborn son conspired to once again derail my efforts to participate. However, I had a much better sense of Connectivism, as well as how to more successfully wrestle with the new paradigm of an open course.
Consequently, the new Personal Learning Environments, Networks, and Knowledge massive open online course seems like a more natural opportunity now. I have a bit more time than I have in the past. I have a bit more understanding of how and what to do to improve my experience with the new paradigm. Also, I have even more interest in the focus of this new venture. Now, if I can stave off the distractions that will keep me from seeing this opportunity to the end.