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Down to the wire: MultiMOOC 2.014 starts Monday

January 11, 2014

I hope to keep this blog ticking over, as well as my one at http://adVancEducation.blogspot.com, during the EVO sessions January 13 to February 16, 2014.  At this writing we are just two days short of our start date.  In this post I hope to preview what we expect might happen over the next 5 weeks in the MultiMOOC session.

EVO Kickoff

There is an online kickoff event this Sunday from 1400 to 1600 GMT in Blackboard Collaborate / Elluminate.http://learningtimesevents.org/webheads/. You can attend in person or catch the live stream at http://webheadsinaction.org/live. There is more information at
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents

Starting MultiMOOC

We don’t start officially until Monday after the kickoff but at that time we will be asking anyone who plans to interact with us to post introductions on our Google+ community at http://gplus.to/multimooc. You’ll want to join that community (it might ask you if you want to activate Google Plus, if you haven’t already). You might want to activate notifications there as well if you want to be alerted when someone posts there. This may or may not bloat your inbox, depending on how much traffic we have, but it will keep you in the loop, or you can simply visit the community from time to time and see what new faces have posted there.

We have two co-moderators for this session.  One of them, Ali Bostancioglu, is in Turkey for family matters at present but when he returns to his studies in UK he intends to be more active and help us focus on openness in learning. The other co-moderator is Jim Buckingham, whom I have known for some time as a colleague in UAE. He has developed an abiding interest in badges lately and taken at least one MOOC on the topic. Earlier today we met in Google+ Hangout to discuss how we might introduce badges in MultiMOOC (and he also explained how to activate, or deactivate, if you are getting overloaded, email notifications in Google+ communities)

MultiMOOC sessions go for 5 weeks. The first week starting Monday Jan 13 is orientation, where we re-iterate the points we are making here and give newcomers a chance to absorb the culture of connectivist self-directed learning.  The second week is for declaring, which means figuring out what you want from this session (which might mean choose a MOOC you want to pursue) and tell us why you made that choice. The third week is for networking, which could entail getting involved in other MOOC networks and reporting back.  By then our syllabus (chock full of readings and videos you can enjoy or ignore) has usually gone out the window as people cluster in Week 4 on whatever opportunities and tangents have arisen by then, and the last week is for focus and denouement, which would ideally entail your compiling a small ePortfolio of what you have accomplished in the session, and show us how you have met your expectations. Along the way we have some interesting speakers and live sessions.  For more on that, see the program here:
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded.

Not all the events listed are strictly MultiMOOC ones, but those ones are indicated (if you read my recent draft book chapter you’ll have a better idea of the relationship of Learning2gether to MultiMOOC).

Engaging the MOOC in MultiMOOC

As we are an EVO session that explores MOOCs (not a MOOC per se) we will learn best by participating in MOOCs and reporting back what we find.  For example, a MOOC on Digital Curation has just started and I have given my initial impressions here:
Two networks I have my eye on at the moment are the Crafting the ePerfect Textbook EVO session (already gone into MOOC status with 350 in its Google+ Community, than number increasing daily) and Dave Cormier’s MOOC on Rhizomatic Learning, which I personally intend to connect with as a part of our session (if we’re not in MOOC status then we’ll hitch to one).
There’s a link at the latter URL to the keynote Dave gave in Suva, Fiji in 2013
It’s a good encapsulation of what Dave has been saying over the years, how he (and George Siemens) try to respond to the incredibly diverse needs of students they encounter by moving away from training focused on simple and complicated concepts to preparing them for dealing with chaotic and complex ones – and ending on how his building on rhizomatic learning has become a springboard with him in an era characterized by abundance of opportunities to learn and connect with other learners.

What you can be doing now and this first week

More on that as we get going.  If you’re wondering what you can be doing now, you can read the message I posted today to our Multilit Yahoo! Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/multilit/conversations/messages/1962. To join the conversation there, you can join that group at http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/multilit/. But if for any reason you don’t wish to get a Yahoo ID or even join the group you can also access the messages through other options, explained here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jAlYMhnIijqIhQk-Qz3_AslyAxuMQ6TnmeQYmu7P1T8/edit#heading=h.vu10lxuk8azd
I’ve also recently prepared two documents you can explore when you have time

  1. I’ve prepared what I hope is a concise explanation of what the course is about this year
    http://tinyurl.com/understandingmultimooc
  2. I mentioned above my draft book chapter on the relationship between EVO, Webheads, Webheads in Action Online Convergences, Learning2gether, MultiMOOC, SMALL (Social Media Assisted Language Learning), and the role of chaos in learning, which you can read at the end of:
    http://tinyurl.com/small2014
  3. You can also fill in our Google form at
    http://goodbyegutenberg.pbworks.com/w/page/61341560/participant_form
    This is mainly to get some evidence that people are here (as well as to give us all some knowledge of who we are).
This is a session where you set your goals and strategize how to achieve them through the interesting and game-changing world of MOOCs and connectivist learning. I look forward to sharing that learning journey with you for the next five weeks, and has sometimes happens, beyond. Welcome.
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