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More MOOCing

Due to different circumstances I’ve fallen by the wayside on the Sustainability MOOC, what I’ve learned has been good and I have found it interesting but I found it hard to keep momentum.

I’ve started my second MOOC, Begin Programming: Build Your First Mobile Game which is being run by University of Reading. This course, as was the Sustainability MOOC is being run through FutureLearn, so the structure is the same. I’m really excited about this one as this a real interest of mine.  I was a programmer in industry for over 6 years, and haven’t really done much apart from teaching basic programming to level 3 students. I’m looking forward to refreshing my skills and learning new ones.

The first week is setting up the environment and getting the pre-prepared program up and running. As is usual with technology, this wasn’t a straight forward process and I spent most of the time reading comments trying to figure out what I’d missed as to why the Android emulator wasn’t working and the errors in the code. I think this is where MOOCs can be really unique as the support students give to each other is great and I wouldn’t have got it to work without that.

So after day 1, I’m up and running!

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If I get some time this week, I’d like to have a look at the code in more detail, and there are still two optional steps to complete.

I’m also starting a new MOOC on Wednesday, which is both of professional and personal interest. It is run by the University of Minnesota, and professionally I would like to get a comparison how American MOOCs are run, and also how Coursera compares with FutureLearn. The topic “Creative Problem Solving” sounds interesting and I’m looking forward to this course.

So I’ll be multi-MOOCing for the next few weeks.  I hope that I find these two courses engaging, learn and meet like-minded people.

Sustainability, Society and You: MOOC – Current Understanding

My first thoughts of sustainability were living a life that is sustainable; with the focus on the planet and how much of the resources we use. When I used to teach one of the modules I taught was about the environment and we did a quiz to see ‘how many Earths’ you need to sustain your current lifestyle. Most students it was more than 1 Earth, some needed up to 4 which is obviously not sustainable for future generations. As a former teacher and learning technologist, I look at ways in which we can be sustainable, such as using a Virtual Online Learning Environment to share resources instead of printing them out, online marking and switching off computers when not in use. We are currently looking at a possible replacement for interactive whiteboards with interactive screens which use less power. Additionally sharing resources and collaborating with staff is a way to be sustainable and reduce replication. After reading the introduction of Learning for Sustainability I can see a much broader picture emerging where a carbon brainprint (Speight, 2013, p.24) includes developing my own values as well as supporting others. In my volunteering, demonstrating sustainable values can influence young people and help them to look at being sustainable as a natural way of living, rather than something that you have to consciously do.

References

Speight, S. (2013) Learning for Sustainability. Smashwords.com [Online]. Available at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/292679 (Accessed: 4 December 2013).

MOOCs – Feeling Inspired

I’m currently have way through a 3 day online conference run by Jisc RSC North Yorkshire on Moocs which looks at everything from OER, accessibility, open badges to designing and creating a successful mooc. It’s been really interesting and inspiring.

This has linked well as I’ve been asked to join a steering group at the college looking at frameworks for teaching from the way we do it now to completely online. This has been great opportunity to use my knowledge as a learning technologist and collaborate with staff.

As I really should ‘practice what I preach’, I’ve signed up for 2 Moocs, the first being January and run by The University of Nottingham called Sustainability, society and you with a focus on Education for Sustainable Development. It is an interesting topic, but I’m also interested in how it runs and I how I find being a student on a Mooc course.

The focus is on research and critical thinking, and resources have been made available before hand to encourage deeper learning once the course starts. There are free e-books available and can be downloaded to e-readers, so I’ve downloaded them all to my iPad and started reading one.  It’s fired up my interest and given me a knowledge of what I will be learning. I am a keen, proactive learning, so whether other students on the course will do the same I will have to wait and see. I’m also hoping that I continue to look through the resources before the course.

My aim to do this particular course is to see if I can re-think sustainability and I am hoping it will inspire change as a result of more knowledge.

I will blog about my journey and lessons learned. I’m feeling a real passion for education and e-learning particularly and hope this becomes a real way of making education accessible to those who seek it. I am looking forward to honing my skills and using them to support staff and help to create e-learning content and courses.