Turning the Tables

Like any Masters course, our EDCI 569 course has several assignment components to it. The second assignment is causing me the most sleepless moments currently. We have been given the choice between an inquiry into some facet of digital learning, taking on a 50-100 hour open learning project, or participating/evaluating a MOOC.

I am least interested in the MOOC, because I’ve already tried them. I like and dislike the same feature: the anonymity. You can hide in the massive-ness, but you can also be lonely in it. I felt like I did a good job “listening”, but my very little voice was indistinguishable from the others. MOOCs generally remind me of the huge auditorium-style lectures in my early University days. Your voice gets heard when you break off into little groups for labs, but the professor has no idea if you even showed up for the main lectures. You could learn the content in other ways and sleep in instead.

My conundrum is between choosing the Open Learning or an inquiry into digital learning. I feel like the Digital Learning option will encourage me to explore more dynamic resources related to my Lit Review for EDCI 515, and will provide me with a richness and depth that I may otherwise overlook. But, the lure of learning anything that I want to learn and sharing out the process continues to be a siren call.

I started Genius Hour in my classroom in October 2013, and it was inspiring to see what huge projects my students tackled. I learned so many new things as my students acquired new knowledge and shared it out on their blogs and in class discussions/presentations. I collaborated with a student on learning a new piece of technology in our class, and shared out my learning as well. Several students were overwhelmed as they faced the buffet of learning options and took weeks to decide on a topic. That is where I am right now: I have a huge brainstorm web on a poster behind my desk where I am brainstorming what I would like to learn. This is my next Genius Hour learning project, and thinking that it could possibly fit in with my Masters is an exciting idea! However, I have questions before I commit:

  • What about collaboration? Can this learning project be completed in pairs or small groups? Most 20% Time or Genius Hour teachers encourage their learners to collaborate, to work together to extend thinking and challenge each other.
  • Can it truly be any topic? Does it have to have a tangible product at the end? I have limited my wish list down to 3-4 ideas, but one does not have an actual end product, only growth over time.
  • How do I decide….??? Too many topics to choose from!!

What would you learn if you could choose any topic? How would you reach out to find support to pursue and celebrate your passions? Who would be your cheerleaders in this project?

The decision is coming soon. Stay tuned!

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