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Week 3 in MultiMOOC: Making progress with social networking

January 28, 2013
As we’ve seen earlier in this session (if you’ve caught it as the information whizzed by 🙂 MOOCs started in 2008 from the connectivist ideas of George Siemens and Stephen Downes, who thought they could use networks to leverage learning so it would scale to thousands of participants.  Dave Cormier assisted with that first MOOC as a facilitator and named the beast he saw being created as a massive open online course.  We talked to Dave a week ago at one of our live sessions, and Dave is talking this week at ETMOOC on rhizomatic learning, his idea that learning through a network works something like a rhizome as it spreads its tendrils underground.

In Week 3 in MultiMOOC we focus on learning through Networks.  It might be too late to reach some of you for this one, but Graham Stanley is talking to the Becoming a Webhead network in about 3 hours on PLNs.  It would be worth attending if you’d like an easy intro to Personal Learning Networks, a practical and simplified view of connectivism.  That’s at 8 gmt in Elluminate here:

We have patterned this session on Cormier’s 5 steps to success in MOOCs.  So far we’ve had ORIENTATION and DECLARE, and this week we address NETWORK.

One participant Tihomir wrote me today asking how he could catch up with the session (he’s just joined), so the way to overview what we’ve done so far is to visit and click on Getting Started.  That will point you to a SPACES page where you’ll find the steps you should have done for week 1 (never too late to do them).  Then you’ll find a link for Week 2 where you’ll find a second set of steps like the ones that Chris described doing in her message to which I am responding now.

Week 2 was about how to declare your place in the session, and we are trying to emulate the MOOC way of doing that.  In MOOCs it gets very confusing if people use the usual email introductions (though that was not discouraged here, and it IS friendly in a small group like this one).  But in a MOOC where there are thousands of participants, ways of connecting that will SCALE are being explored.  I tried to explain how MOOCs do it in two blog posts:
Now that may seem complicated until you try it, and by trying it we can see how it works.  But our session is not a MOOC (it’s too small).  MulitiMOOC is a session about MOOCs.  There is a MOOC we can experiment with though,  It is using the DECLARE methods I have suggested, as explained in the second post above.

So for Week 3 where we focus on our NETWORK I suggest we branch out a bit into other networks that are achieving MOOC status.  One network we can use is Webheads, which I helped found as Webheads in Action in EVO 2002.  The session Becoming a Webhead has run as an EVO session each year since 2004 and is a good introduction to networked learning, and you could start soon if you wanted with Graham’s talk on PLNs.

I suggest we study ETMOOC this week in light of what we have learned so far.  Here we can see how the DECLARE steps play out in vivo if we can’t get them working in our smaller setting (but you can check the aggregations and lists as Chris has done; find them in the sidebar at As I develop our week 3 activities page I’ll suggest some steps for more experimentation designed at all of us getting a better idea of how connected learning works to scale in a MOOC (but not tonight, sorry, like you I have too much daytime work to attend to).  However, I’ve started adapting Week 3 to what is happening now, as this session evolves, here: 

FInally, I have connected with yet another network the Connecting Online conference where I have volunteered us to join in an event and talk about what we are doing in this session. I mentioned it before but that’s coming up this Sunday, and you are all welcome to join in and let’s see what happens, which is how connectivist learning works best.  See here for more information:

There is one more thing I should mention and that is that yesterday, Sunday Jan 27, we had a delightful presentation by one of our Multiliteracies community members Tuba Angay-Crowder who helped us to understand multiliteracies with respect to multimodality.  The Elluminate recording and an mp3 recording I made in Audacity (cleaner than the elluminate one) has been podcast here

So there is a lot going on.  Please write our YahooGroup list or leave a comment in our Posterous blog. You can also write us in Edmodo another experimental area for us.  The only way we can learn is by doing, and by doing we will learn, which is what we are here for.  And that’s all for this evening from Abu Dhabi.

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