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Connection is about Creating Relationships

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If you are still part of #CICMOOC, it is probably because you are part of a team that keeps you going. That is certainly true for me.  I am reminded of Dave Cormier’s advice Orient, Declare, Network, Cluster,and Focus in his video ‘Success in a MOOC.’  If you haven’t created a network of like minded individuals, your chance of succeeding in any MOOC is <10%.  I have connected with an amazing group of talented and dedicated individuals who told me this week — “They are in it to the END.”

Hopefully, this is just the beginning.

Our project work this week has been consumed by our launching of a survey via “Twitter Blast” to gather data to support our idea.  Part of the distribution process was participating in Jack Thompson’s virtual “Trading Up” exercise.  “Start with an item of yours, go to the street, and ask people if they are willing to “trade up” for your item. Trade up at least five times and report back the results.”  Jack used the G+ “street” for his virtual trade.   I took the opportunity to trade the survey with the understanding that he would help us distribute to his networks.  He took the bait.  In exchange, I received the quote “Any form of reality is Tradable”…  I loved the creativity that was involved here!

We began distributing the survey via our twitter connections.  We assumed that we would be able to ‘hit’ 500 responses fairly quickly.  We were sorely mistaken.  Our survey is targeted at K-12 educators and one thing that is loud in clear in the survey responses to date is that Twitter is UNDERUTILIZED by K-12 educators.  (42% rated Twitter as the least used tool for engaging with their PLN)  That was certainly a revelation.  However, the connections that we have made and the feedback we have to date is impressive.  We have extended our survey window by an additional week and plan to circulate our survey via email this week, as this is apparently the communication tool that is most used in the K-12 arena.  We are excited that 50% of our respondents are from outside the United States.

Currently, the Open Education Movement is active in the Higher Education arena.  Platforms such as #ds106 or the work that is being done at University of Britsh Columbia are prime examples.  We need to partner with existing organizations and use their successes to bring the movement to the K-12 arena that is being smothered with teaching to the test and Common Core standards.  We are losing great teachers and we need to provide realistic alternative solutions for Professional Development that can stimulate our teachers, provide connections to other educators and bring the passion back into the learning process for teachers and students.

We are thrilled that we have gained supporters who find our idea fresh and innovative and are willing to help us move forward.  At every setback (survey issues, backlash from BadAss Teacher network, and slow response), we receive another supporter that propels us to move forward.  So much so that even though this MOOC ends this week, our group is moving forward with our project.

Our next step is to bring together a group of experts in the field to provide feedback on our idea, and help to identify what it looks like, how will it be delivered, and how can we partner with other organizations to create a culture open education in the K-12 arena.  To help spread the word, we are working on a website to share with our audience and to attract like minded individuals to support us.

“It is more important to find the place to which you add value rather than pursue a particular goal or objective” (Maureen Maher)

Our project is energizing.  Our project has brought together a group of like minded individuals who are passionate about education.  The work that we have been doing and the creative energy that has been ignited is EXACTLY what open education and connectivism is all about — and it is this that we want to bring to Professional Development for K12 teachers.  As Tom Whitby points out: “if we base our answer on an observation of the dissatisfaction with our education system, and the grass-roots movement of tens of thousands of educators in search of something more in the way of PD, our current method may be failing us miserably, or at the very best, falling a bit short of the mark. Either way, PD in its current form is not making the grade.”

Learning and communicating are not merely acts of sending content over a wire. They are about engaging in (what Wittgenstein called) a “way of life.“ (Stephen Downes).
way of life

Have you taken our survey?

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20 comments on “Connection is about Creating Relationships

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  19. gitta
    March 20, 2014

    Thanks for your topic

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This entry was posted on October 21, 2013 by .
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