I’ve been a slightly reluctant Moocer. I have good excuses, mind you; my laptop died on the first week – convenient, but true. Then, if you miss the start, how can you catch up? All the cool kids probably have their groups organised, and I’ve never been one of the cool kids anyway. Then, I am busy at work, and I keep missing the sessions, and how on earth do you get into Blackboard collaborate anyway?
I’ve read the literature, I know the theory, I’m all about connected learning, but sign me on a course, and the old patterns return, I instinctively want to be a good student – so it’s likely I don’t show up at all (hello, Ms. Smith, my math teacher in secondary school, remember me? No, I didn’t think you would).
Really, it’s not all about technology, although sometimes you may think it is – so many spaces, so many tools, so many registrations, and what is my password for Evernote? I love those spaces though usually at my own pace, with promises to tidy up this or that when I have time.
It’s also about learning. When my youngest son was about to start primary school, he became very worried and anxious. Eventually, he explained that he couldn’t possibly go to school, because he couldn’t read. In the first year of their degree course, many of my students won’t participate in discussions in French, because they feel they are not fluent enough. Although I suspect that my son would have had no problems with being taught how to read at home, and my students would gladly speak to themselves aloud in French, or sing the words of a song. Learning with others is more difficult. So really, what I want to learn, what I need to learn is the connection part of connected learning, the interaction part.
It seems that I am not the only one to ask the question. Christina ponders the difference between learner-centric and crowd-centric moocs, and Katie takes a personal view of a huge internet space and a small PLN. And I wonder if you can be agoraphobic on the internet.