Ebook team for Change11 – the record of an event

people used to make records
as in a record of an event
the event of people playing music in a room
Fuel. Ani DiFranco

I’ve recorded a little video tour of the ebook project planning page. It should give you a sense of what the project is about, and what you can do to participate if such a thing strikes your fancy.

I’m hoping to find a way that a group of interested people can make a record of the event of a MOOC. Seeing music live is better, if you can, if you have the time, the emotion and the locatedness to enjoy it. But we listen to records… again and again. In bits and pieces. We sample from them. Taste them. I want to try to make that record. and I want you to help me.

see you at http://change11.info

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6 thoughts on “Ebook team for Change11 – the record of an event

  1. Good idea – certainly a great and very ambitious project. As I am not an expert in the education area ( I have a legal background) I do not think I could really help you with this. However I had one thought when looking at the wiki, reading some tweets and thinking about the last days that I wanted to share with you: there are actually more “levels” involved in this course. There is one level about content – the weekly presentations/tasks and what happens based on the weekly topic. There is one level about interaction and connecting and there is one level with regard to tools used.
    I passively followed the German MOOC #opco11 and already by following I learned a lot about tools hitherto completely unknown to me (for example using an etherpad). I do think it would be helpful to include a “part” listing and explaining the tools used.
    Hope this helps!
    Yours
    Astrid

  2. Would like to agree with Astrid. The levels that she suggests are a useful framework for understanding the MOOC and I would definitely like to see a ‘part’ listing and explaining the tools. Some of the names and terms are completely new to me. Just a glossary would be welcome.

  3. I tend to disagree that an explanation of the tools is necessary, or even useful. Let me demonstrate by use of an anecdote.

    Last spring in the middle of torrential downpour I took part in a collaborative gardening exercise called permablitz. It’s like a flash mob for people interested in learning about permaculture. I had heard about it over the Internet and decided that I needed to learn more about permaculture and the opportunity to work with others on a project of significance to the local community was attractive to me. For a little context see my photos of the event on Flickr.

    I don’t have a lot of gardening equipment, but what I do have I know how to use well. I took a large hunting knife, a pair of secateurs and gardening spade. When I arrived people had brought shovels, picks and wheel barrows. I was familiar with their use, and I borrowed some of them to accomplish certain aspects of the work, but they were not my tools so when the work was over I put them down. There were a bunch of other tools that I was curious about, but had little knowledge of, so I asked about them and learnt what I could but with the understanding they were not right for my circumstances.

    I spent most of my time putting my back into the work, I lifted bricks, dug holes and took cuttings of comfrey (that are now part of my garden). I listened to people talk about building resilience in the community through edible gardens. I learned about the medicinal qualities of comfrey. I enjoyed Chai and some wonderful vegetarian food prepared by others.

    During the course of the afternoon, with blisters on my hands and covered in dirt, I had the realisation that by contributing to the conversation I was developing a network of people to call on if I needed help with my own garden. Not once however did we stop to talk about the tools. To do so would have eaten up valuable gardening time. We were fully involved in the gardening and the conversations that arose from it.

    The experience was refreshing in contrast to many of the conversations that go on in forums and workplaces about the application of technology to novel problems. People seem to be less interested in the work, and more interested in the tools. They use technical naivety as a crutch to lean on while others are getting on with the work.

    Now if I need a tool to accomplish a certain task, I do my research and ask the guy in the hardware shop. I never let the shiny tools distract me from what needs to get done in the garden.

  4. @Brett: I read your comment in the early morning and had (as it is evening now) some hours to think about it. Actually there are two different lines of thought I would like to share with you (and other readers):
    (1) Your example of the gardening does not work for me with regard to tools. It rather works for me with regard to the content of the course. There I have a choice to have a look at certain topics, to try out if they “fit” for me (for example I do not like using mobile phones so mlearning is not my “strong” interest”). As to the tools I use for connecting with other participants/sharing thoughts I feel that I do not have an idea of what exists. It is not to discuss in depth technical questions but (and this is one of my goals for this course) to “encounter” and – if attractive – “try out” tools I have not seen/tried out before.
    (2) It is great that you do not need such a list and that you found a way for yourself to work things out on your own. I do see this point differently (as outlined above – though I do not think that the Ebook will contain any such list). However – as a MOOC is about choice and abundance – would it disturb you if such a list would be included?

  5. @Astrid, My apologies for the tardy response, a few reminder emails have ended up in spam by mistake and I have just become aware of it.

    I would have no objection on the inclusion of such a list of tools, although I would find it hard to see it as representative of the experience of all or even most of the participants in the course. Welcome to the long tail. For a good discussion of tools and how well they were received in CCK08 see Fini (2009).

    The problem with focussing on a number of specific tools for inclusion in a list is it fails to recognise a diversity of approaches and learning styles. Fini does seem to suggest that outlining pedagogical approaches associated with each tool, and warning future participants that they don’t have to use every one might help mitigate the overwhelm that some feel in a MOOC. I feel however that would detract from personal sense-making that needs to happen, and diminish the choices available to people by “anointing” a select few.

    Perhaps the gardening analogy wasn’t the best fit. Enjoy the smorgasbord that is this MOOC. I’m resisting (unsuccessfully I might add) the temptation to sign off with yet another metaphor.

    Fini, A. (2009). The Technological Dimension of a Massive Open Online Course: The Case of the CCK08 Course Tools. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(5), Article–10. Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/viewArticle/643/1402

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