The Online Teacher

MOOCing My Way in 2013: My #ETMOOC Anniversary Blog


Photo Credit: penbentley via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: penbentley via Compfightcc

Reading Rhonda Jessen’s wonderfully reflective anniversary blog has spurred me on to write a final #etmooc blog; one that is long overdue. At the very time #etmooc ended, my mother ended up critically ill, and my priorities changed. Consequently, I am now thrilled I can officially thank those ‘conspirators’ that changed my life in a multitude of ways.

Knowledge, Tools and Advocacy

Thanks to #etmooc, I now have enough knowledge on some of the wonderful things happening in education, with respect to technology and social media, that I can truly ruffle feathers in the workplace, or more specifically, at the school board level. 🙂 For example, after being encouraged to blog for #etmooc (thanks Sue Waters for the great blogging sessions and tips), I promoted the idea of using WordPress for our school newsletter. The new format is extremely user friendly, allows for videos and a personal touch, and promotes interaction and collaboration on many levels. Way better! The only downside is that the district still PDFs our school newsletters for the district web page, due to policy regarding Facebook – Facebook is not fully supported, and our newsletter links to the Facebook page (yes, guess who’s partly responsible for that too). My hope is that 2014 will see our newsletters go live at the district level… yes, another side effect of #etmooc is advocating for change (or perhaps annoying others enough so that it will eventually happen). I must say that Alec Couros and George Couros keep me hopeful. Advocating for change seems to be their mission.

Connections and Learning: My Amazing PLN

Thanks to #etmooc, professional development has become a daily activity that I no longer ‘plan’ to do. Instead, it has become an ingrained daily ritual that I do without even realizing it (I sure notice its absence during those rare times when it’s not possible). My amazing Twitter PLN that resulted from #etmooc – I was a Twitter newbie at the beginning of the MOOC – keeps me inspired, interested and intrigued about what is possible in education. As far as I’m concerned, Twitter, or Pro-D that teachers can actually do in PJs, is an opportunity for connecting and learning that I hugely underestimated until I participated in #etmooc. Thank you Alison Seaman and Jeff Merrill, two of the most encouraging, genuine, and thoughtful #etmooc ‘conspirators,’ for your continued support, and especially for your tips with managing the chats (or what seems like Twitter on fast forward some nights)! Also, I truly appreciate the many #etmooc participants who have been so supportive and encouraging. You all rock!

A Change in Attitude and Thinking

Probably the biggest change I have experienced as a result of #etmooc is a change in attitude. I am now much less concerned about rigidly protecting my privacy (something that held me back from fully engaging on the Web and using the multitude of tools, apps, forums, etc.), but instead I choose to have the go forth, try and explore (wisely, of course) attitude. This attitude allows me to participate and engage, learn, and be a maker and creator, and this is evident in my teaching and workplace. However, I’m still procrastinating on my Vlog for Al Levine. Sorry Al, I truly enjoyed your Digital Storytelling session – nobody can tell a story quite like you! I must add that Alec CourosAudrey WattersVerena Roberts and Bonnie Stewart helped me to better understand digital citizenship, digital literacy and open education. Furthermore, Catherine Cronin has been a tremendous role model and advocate for women in the field of science and technology. Thank you, Catherine, for reminding us all to do our part in promoting the fact that everybody can, and should, learn about computer science and coding.

Thank you, Alec and ‘conspirators’! Do you see what you’ve done to me? This is just a brief glimpse at a few areas of growth in my life over the past year. Imagine the infographic that would be generated if I identified everybody with whom I’ve interacted in an educationally significant way, with respect to technology and media; interactions that would not have been possible prior to #etmooc! It has been an honour to be able to walk through the doors of the Internet and learn together in this very special #etmooc community.

Thank you #ETMOOC!


Thank you to Susan Spellman Cann and Rhonda Jessen for organizing the events for this One Year #ETMOOC Anniversary. Your efforts have been integral to keeping this community alive.


3 thoughts on “MOOCing My Way in 2013: My #ETMOOC Anniversary Blog

  1. Pingback: ETMOOC Anniversary #etmchat Twitter Chat | Rhonda Jessen.comRhonda

  2. This comment is overdue (is that a theme here?). I’ll blame it on the ridiculous polar vortex we’ve been experiencing here in Chicago. During the #etmooc anniversary chat I blamed the cold on a blast from Canada. Silly me. Should have remembered who I was chatting with. Someone (not sure who) in the chat “corrected” me and said the weather came from Alaska.

    I laughed, and was reminded again why I loved #etmooc.

    This is such a lovely post to read – and yes, to the change in attitude. We all experienced that. And what struck me as I re-read this post is that – isn’t that who we are? We are attitude changers. We recognize the experience when we have it. And I bet – know – that’s what drives us as innovative educators. I certainly sense that in all of our exchanges, Fenella.

    Thanks again for this post and just reminding me how important it is to do what we do.

    P.S. As a favor to your friends to the south, any way you could kinda block that stuff coming from Alaska?

  3. Hi Jeff. Wow, I wish I had read this comment sooner; it made me laugh so much! Thanks for exhibiting that great sense of humour that we have grown to love.

    You are right when you question if overdue is a theme. I’m currently in the middle of report cards, so the theme continues… I also think you are right about #etmooc-ers when you say, “We are attitude changers. We recognize the experience when we have it. And I bet – know – that’s what drives us as innovative educators.” As always, a great “Merrellism”! I think I need to tweet this one. ☺

    Thanks again for the great exchanges, Jeff – you always get me thinking, questioning, and, yes indeed, laughing. Oh, and regarding that “stuff” coming from Alaska, your friendly neighbours to the north say buck up … at least you get great summers!

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