Monday, July 28, 2014

CLMOOC Reflectations and Connectivations

  • This video is my Thank You to everyone involved in CLMOOC - facilitators, planners, lurkers, fellow participants and anyone else who was even tangentially a part of this experience.  It has been a really rewarding, enriching and energizing 6 weeks for me.
I like to just spew things out  follow my gut when writing, so here goes.  The first thing I am struck by is how much of an impact it made on me to have a real world audience for my "makes" and writing.  I knew the critical role of audience; I am first and foremost an English teacher;  it wasn't a concept I wasn't intellectually aware of, but this experience made me really FEEL it. "Who was I sharing with?  What did I want from the audience? What did I hope to communicate to them?" CLMOOC re-invigorated my need and desire to ensure more real-world audiences for my students.  It also reminded me how much I love writing, and that I need to get it done do more of it.

Continuing with the gut responses: I was stupidly happy to be able to interact with so many smart people who were curious, active learners.  I don't get enough of that in my offline life, or even usually in my online life.  This is what I will wallow in  miss the most.  How can I continue to connect with the people in CLMOOC, and how can I add to the list of interesting, smart people that I interact with on a regular basis?  I need to figure this out.   Too many teachers are in #survivalmode and rarely able to get past it to engage in connecting and learning at a different level. 

I still wished that more people were able to respond to the posts of more other people.  I think it is the nature of a "not-a-class" experience to try to simultaneously be completely No-Pressure while still needing and reaping the benefits of interaction and connection.  I wanted more of all of it - more interaction, more connection, more people responding to more posts, more depth sometimes. Is this antithetical to the "jump in and out" nature of it?  I don't think so.  I think everyone benefits if we hear more points of view, have a more tangible audience.  Post at least two meaningful comments for each Make you post??   I want to make sure I engage my students in a plethora of these interactions - they are too valuable to shortcut.

This past school year, I gave my teammates a survey to discover their strongest role on a team. Categories included the Organizer, the Cheerleader, the Producer, etc.  What we found is that the role we were most missing were Challengers - people who are willing to speak up and disagree: Disagree with the status quo, disagree with the consensus, disagree with a decision, a plan, a goal.  In CLMOOC, for me this person was Terry Elliott. Just when things felt comfy-cozy, Terry jumped in to question the concept of hacking, and continued to question things throughout CLMOOC.  Terry's input helped me to enjoy this experience at an exponentially higher level than I would have without his challenges. Like my school team, I think CLMOOC needs more of that - it encourages healthy debate and thinking outside the current mood and online feed stream. On top of that, Terry is a talented maker and writer.

Kevin Hodgson-music-magic-maps-tools.  He added his music to one of my Makes, and
made it infinitely better.  He adds meaning. His collaboration-reflection with Terry was gorgeous.  He brings magic to CLMOOC and is incredibly smart, positive and supportive. Sheri Edwards helped to capture me into CLMOOC early on by looking at my work and commenting.  It's so important early on to feel "seen," and she is a master at this. She was also our cheerleader, helping us even when on vacation or spending time with her grandchildren, and is extending the connections beyond CLMOOC to a middle school network. Karen Fasimpaur, Mia Zamora, Kim Douillard and her photos, Mary Ellen B, Scott Glass, Fred Mindlin, Simon Ensor, Charlene Doland, Michelle Stein (and others that I know I'm forgetting) were the inspirational glue that held CLMOOC together and helped make it such a valuable experience.

So many "nurturers," as Michelle Stein called them.  Thanks everyone, for making this possible!

"There's no wrong answer here."
Kevin Hodgson

1 comment:

  1. What a thoughtful piece and I am so thankful you have been able to be engaged in meaningful play this summer. I, too, wish there were more of everything ... what we found last year (and still continue to find) is that the CLMOOC reverberated beyond the virtual spaces and impacted classrooms, and we didn't know about it until months later. So, there's that ...