Hello Open & Connected Learning Mooc

Hello to all of you who are participating in the Open and Connected Learning Mooc (#oclmooc). I am a little overdue on my personal introduction; I’ve spent the last few weeks getting things ready for the launch of #oclmooc this week and I have been neglecting my own blog.

I am a media and computer teacher, with a strong interest in open and connected learning and community building. I have spent the last two years working in Edmonton for Alberta Education. I’ve been seconded from my school board to work on the refinement and validation of the innovative new Career and Technology Foundations (CTF) Curriculum. It is very interesting and rewarding work. CTF is the first curriculum in Alberta that is being released in English and French at the same time. I have the pleasure of working with a great team to ensure that the draft CTF curriculum met the standards for curriculum development as they were being nailed down for Curriculum Redesign, as well as the needs of educational stakeholders – our work has been strongly informed by feedback from teachers and administrators in the field. One aspect of my job that I really enjoy is community building as we work with an expanding number of stakeholders. CTF is in a Scaling Up phase this year (teachers can use it if they choose but it is not required) and it is expected to be fully implemented by September 2015.

Over the last two years I also discovered Moocs, and the open educational community. The first Mooc that I participated in was #etmooc and I fell deep down the rabbit hole, spending almost all of my free time participating in sessions, blogging, and connecting with other participants from around the world. I’ve since participated in several other Moocs, and open learning experiences like Twitter vs. Zombies but I have learned some balance, and no longer let them take over my life. I have created two open learning communities, PostEtmooc and MetaMooc, and regularly collaborate, connect and play with people that I met during #etmooc.

Last year I realized that although there are some fantastic, innovative educators in Alberta, I connect more with educators from outside Alberta than from Alberta, and the idea for the Open and Connected Learning Mooc was born. From the start the idea was to model connected learning, and provide participants with tools they could use to create their own connected learning experiences. Verena Roberts and I built the framework of the course and then invited others to help develop and support it. #oclmooc is entirely teacher/trainer led; there are ten co-conspirators who have helped shape its development and who will be leading and supporting the learning experiences over the next few weeks. It has been a great experience working with them, and #oclmooc is a much stronger course as a result of their participation.

Now that #oclmooc has been launched and week 1 is almost over, other co-conspirators are going to take the lead. I hope to have more time to connect with participants, take part in the scheduled webinars, Twitter chats and other activities and learn with other #oclmooc participants. I also intend to write more here, doucmenting my learning as #oclmooc unfolds.

I am looking forward to connecting and learning with you during the next 4 1/2 weeks of #oclmooc, and hopefully after that as well. Thanks for joining us on this learning journey.

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