It’s always about the people

Today I spent several hours working on an enormous post about all of the great learning opportunities that I got to take advantage of in October. Between The Open and Connected Leaning Mooc (#oclmooc) and Connected Courses (#ccourses) I took part in many synchronous sessions about digital identity, open learning, web literacies, community and connecting and had many interesting conversations with participants in both communities.

I have been working on an enormous, way too enormous, all encompassing post about all of these experiences. I was not getting very far. I had written the first several paragraphs many times now thinking each time that if I approach it from a different angle, use different words, my ideas will coalesce and the words will start to flow.

Then I read this week’s writing prompt for Digital Writing Month this week about sharing unfinished work, so I started thinking about sharing part of the unfinished enormous post. I had successfully procrastinated for a few weeks and I really wanted to post a learning reflection for #oclmooc, and I want to share my refections with the #ccourses community. I know I won’t be able to match Paul’s number of posts or insightful reflections, but I do want to add my thoughts to the conversation, I want to make a point of continuing the conversation that was started last month.

I had planned to publish a post this afternoon before the #etmooc Connected Courses session tonight with Alec Couros and Howard Rheingold, but that was before I realized that the knee/back of chair ratio on the bus from Calgary to Edmonton would make it impossible to view my laptop screen.

As I contemplated all of this, with my laptop closed and the sun on my face, I realized that the details of the specific sessions I attended (and who the faciliators were, and what they got me thinking about) weren’t the most important part.

For me, it’s about community. The connections I make with others who are exploring the same topics, sharing our ideas and our learning and sometimes just playing together. And for me this month it has been about one part of my PLN, a few people who keep playing roles in my many varied communities. I met many of them during #etmooc and we have stayed connected for the past two years. We stay connected through #PostEtmooc and we keep running into each other as we participate in other open learning experiences.

For the last few months I had the pleasure of working with a few of them to build and support the learning community in #oclmooc. It was huge of a leap of faith for me to launch #oclmooc and invite others to co-create it with me, but I am so glad that I did. I loved working with all of the #oclmooc co-conspirators, but it was especially rewarding to work with Verena, Susan, Erin, Paul and Karen. We met during #etmooc and have shared many wonderful learning experiences and communities since then.

For me the best part of all of my learning experiences in October was the people. I met a lot of interesting people from around the world during #oclmooc and connected with familiar avatars (how do I refer to these friends who I know but have never met?) during #ccourses. And best of all, I got to build and support the #oclmooc learning community with a brilliant group of co-conspirators.

Well, maybe the best part is that the learning continues. Alec Couros, #etmooc‘s lead learner has invited some of us to join him in the #ccourses session tonight to talk about our experiences during #etmooc. Maybe I’ll see you there.

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