Time has flown by once again and #etmooc is coming to an end. When I first started to read the posts and tweets about the course ending, I thought, “Wait, already!? No, not yet!” I couldn’t believe we had reached the last week, which meant it was time for closing thoughts and reflections.
As I began to think back on all of my experiences in #etmooc, an image came to mind of two open palms, held together to provide a foundation and support for this new community. That’s how I imagine #etmooc as the “official” course ends. We are all sitting or standing, talking or creating inside this safe space we have built together for one another. A supportive, affirmative space that’s also open and accepting of so much. It’s a community that’s accepts that people are extraordinarily busy and as much as they might like to learn, they also have busy lives to lead. So there’s no need for apologies when you have to step away for awhile.
It’s also a community that has been built around a few core ideas or topics and deepened by questions and provocations. We have not been afraid to push one another to think differently or more deeply about current issues around forming a digital identity, supporting open source projects and platforms, and numerous other challenging topics. And once these provocations have been raised, there have been numerous questions, wonderings, and curiosities posed to the group to discuss and examine together.
We have encouraged one another to grow by pursuing new goals and trying new tools. I know I have jumped into GIFs and explored a number of new sites and projects thanks to this course. We have opened each others’ eyes to new resources and provided support to test them out without worrying that we are making mistakes, being silly or sharing things that don’t matter.
And maybe most important, we brought all of these things together by actively and consciously working to build new connections. We strived, as a community, to connect in new places like Google+ or Twitter and we visited each other’s neighborhoods and left comments on other participants’ blogs so that they would know we were listening and waiting for their next contribution. Even though most of us have never met in person and might never be in the same place at the same time, we have established ties that can continue to connect us after this “course” ends. Because the reality is that #etmooc is much more than a course or even a space for dialogue, it is an entire community built upon this foundation we have forged together.
Through our creations, discussions, questions, relationships, tools, technologies, and open sharing we have joined all of our palms together to serve as the foundation for our future constructions. It’s a construction site that is waiting for us to build upon it, to build future collaborations, to engage in shared writings and explorations, and to start new projects to support future good.
Although people are saying their “goodbyes” and we are collecting artifacts in this shared space, these are simply the next layer in our community. I don’t see them as the end but rather the beginning of the next level in this shared space, on this foundation we have built and I don’t think there’s anything stopping us from continuing to build more, if we’re willing.
Of course without the live sessions and blog prompts, it will be more challenging to stay as engaged and other events or projects might occupy more of our time but I think that simply means the ways in which we continue constructing our community might shift. We might build more piecemeal or more slowly or maybe in smaller groups but we’ll still be united by our foundation. I am so happy I had the chance to contribute to the foundation and I can’t wait to put on my digital hard hat and continue building this amazing community with everyone.A Hard Hat” by Dwight Burdette is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
Great reflections. As I read, I realized how much I appreciated this community’s understanding of the fact that people are busy, and that their presence in a learning space may ebb and flow (I haven’t always experienced that). I agree with you that this was a community that helped me feel like other people were listening. I look forward to continuing the conversation.
Thanks Lisa! It wasn’t until I began writing that I realized how important the acceptance of others has been to my sense of the #etmooc community. I think the uniqueness of the experience and the group will make it easier to keep things going. I look forward to learning and sharing more together soon!
I always enjoy your thoughtful posts!
Would you help my class learn some more about the uses of Twitter, particularly your own, and maybe help us explore/play more? You can see our work at #ed250.
I would also love it if you could comment on how you see tech and literacy intertwining.
Looking forward, Alice
What amazing reflections you shared. Thanks so very much for posting. This is a timely post because this time of class is being offered andI had never heard of it before. It seems so real and adaptable which is what works best for me! Being a teacher is so busy and exhausting. I like how you can flow in and out. Great post! Sharon
Timing can be tough – especially while teaching! I’m also trying to engage in the MIT Media Lab MOOC and had to decline others because there’s so much going on at once. I think one of the best parts of these communities/courses is that there’s such a vivid footprint left behind that you can always join in later or go back and learn at your own pace. Thanks for your comment Sharon!
During the second half of etmooc, my life got much busier, so I wasn’t able to contribute. I loved that I was still able to “receive” even though I could no longer “give”. I was able to follow the conversation and continue to learn from everyone else’s reflections. It was a happy day when I clicked that first link to your blog Margaret. You have helped me to see teaching and learning in a new light. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom!
Yes! It was great to feel that even when I was too busy to post and reflect on current topics I could still learn from others in the group and begin thinking differently just by observing. Thanks so much for your kind comments. It’s wonderful to hear that my posts have been meaningful and I look forward to learning from your thoughts and wisdom as our learning journey continues!
Great post Margaret, you summed up my etmooc experiences as well. I look forward to learning with you, beyond etmooc.
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