Week One Reflections

For the past week or so I have been introduced to a whirlwind of new technology, well, new to me anyhow. To the rest of those that keep pace with technology, this stuff is newish at best. I have been logging in, signing up, watching intro videos, researching, posting, responding, creating, editing, tweeting, bookmarking, following, and linking. It has been whirlwind that has at times been confusing, frustrating, or downright overwhelming. In order to make sense of it all, I first had to breathe and remind myself that I would in the end be “okay.” Secondly, I had to take a step back to list out all the things I needed to keep track of, which in its own ways was another dizzying headache at first. Thirdly, I had to ask myself the question how I would make sense of all this and further my own learning while keeping track of all the sites, log-ins, and topics. The answer to this could be found in the very sites I had recently begun to use. Up to this point in the course I have found that I furthered my own learning by becoming engaged in it all and by reading/responding to the posts made by others in the class, whether it was twitter, our Google group, or what have you. Fourth, I then had to ask myself how I have or will contribute to the learning of others in the class. Up to this point, I haven’t provided many resources to my peers. I do plan to increase my resources, advice, feedback, and interaction with peers once I have more of a firm grasp on the sites and their various uses.

Now for the question we have all been waiting for: What are the characteristics I will need to be successful in this MOOC?  Below is a list of what I feel will be essential for me to be successful in this MOOC.

1.      Remember to breathe and to focus

It is easy to get lost in the plethora of information, sites, responses, and unknowns.  Take a step back every now and then, breathe, and refocus, even if it means focusing on one thing at a time.

2.      Be open-minded

There are a lot of new technologies out there and things that will make us uncomfortable throughout this course. For example, sitting in front of a screen to create an intro video. Though uncomfortable for many, it is a valuable learning experience that allows us to step out of our comfort zone. Change isn’t always easy, but it is often necessary.

3.      Orient

Become familiar with the materials needed for the class, links that will be essential for communication as well as posting of assignments, and finally, be aware of the time needed for the assignments in the class.

4.      Network

Unless I plan on this class being a flop I need to connect with others. This means following people on twitter and responding to their tweets, posting in my Google group and responding in the appropriate group, following and posting on other people’s blogs, attending twitter chats, sending emails, and the like. The learning I can attain through networking will be tremendous this semester I am sure.

5.      Last but not least, have fun!

In order to survive and be successful in any course I must always remember to have fun through it all and know that regardless of the frustrations or confusions that I am learning along the way, which in the end betters me as a person.  This course will consist of meeting new people, sharing of ideas, stepping out of comfort zones, taking on new risks, researching until our eyes hurt, tweeting until our fingers go numb, and laughing at how little we knew when we first began. It never hurts to remember to smile now and then.

This is how I plan to survive and succeed this course and this MOOC. I hope that my short list is helpful to your success in this MOOC as well! Until next time!

Resources Used:
All About MOOCs
What is a MOOC? – Video
Success in a MOOC – Video

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2 thoughts on “Week One Reflections

  1. Yes! Breathe! I think we have to ask ourselves in these situations, “What’s the worst that can happen?” In this case, I think it’s that no one wants to “fail”. What I like about the MOOC is that it’s set up so that learning is the focus, not the grades or the deadlines or the papers. All you have to do is be a part of the conversation. The points you make in #5 are absolutely right – all of those things are important realizations for all of us!

  2. Great points Josh. Having fun is important too. Sometimes learning involves a lot of work, but work can be fun too, or at least rewarding. One thing I am working on is knowing when to take a break. Sometimes when things get frustrating, I’ve learned doing something different for even a short time, can make a difference in my productivity.

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