Week One: A Look Back

For me this week has been really exciting, and I have been more than a little nervous to see how folks would adapt to the making a blog.” How will they take to commenting and our Diigo group and all the new stuff that is different than Blackboard courses?  I am also a little nervous about how the commenting will work. Will students know to check their comments? Will they comment on other students blogs? So far we are goo. I think.

The best part was meeting some of the class face to face and I look forward to seeing them again in Skype or G+ Hangout conversations next week. And we will meet once or twice in the next seven weeks for question and answer sessions and just to share what is happening in a face to face way.

This week I have been loosely following an open online course called Rhizomatic Learning.   I have added the Twitter stream to Tweetdeck and I have a nice find there to share with the class.

The first week of the class is about “cheating as learning” and has created some interesting conversations and links. One in particular caught my eye as it was all about what we are doing here in this class. The title to the post is “Using a Blog-Based Environment to Support a Community of Learners“

As I read it reminded me of some of the experiences I have had in online courses and how they were managed in WordPress environments. As it turn out the author has been in some classes I have loosely touched and references some of the ones I have been in. (Funny, how do you “loosely touch” a class?)

The author also hails from a place I love and a college I very nearly went to in Arcata, California. For a long time I figured I’d be a forest ranger and live in some remote mountain lookout. I wanted to be a cross between Jerimiah Johnson and Ed Abbey. I sort of still do sometimes.118

Anyway, the author works at Humboldt State and I love the redwoods and that little corner of the world. I was super lucky to be able to take students there for a few years and wander along the beach and read and write. The two images here on this post are both pictures I took of students in pretty awesome places.

The author, Geoff Cain, also created a space for the Early Childhood courses at Humboldt: http://humboldt.edu/cdblog/

What you see in the link above is a WordPress site that allows users to create courses that are in themselves a blog. It is sort of lots of blogs within one larger site. Here are two other examples from the CUNY schools in NY (http://commons.gc.cuny.edu/ )and the University of Mary Washington in Virginia (http://umwblogs.org/ ).

152In this class we have you all creating blogs out there on you own and we have them fed into the teacherslearningtogether site. The University of Mary Washington is a year and a half into providing all of their students with their own websites. You can see more about that here: http://umwdomains.com/

Much of what we are doing in this class is being done in various ways at other institutions.

I am running my first marathon this weekend so it is hard to think. Period.

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5 Responses to Week One: A Look Back

  1. cheryl casey says:

    Hello, Todd. Thanks for being so patient.

  2. ellen newell says:

    I agree that technology has allowed us to share instantly with others. This applies whether it’s a college essay, or family photos. Technology is great. Privacy is the issue I am concerned about. After a bad experience, I am very careful what I share and post in public forums. However, used as designed, technology is a tool that benefits all.

  3. Jim Groom says:

    You’ll always be my Edward Abbey. You have been on a three year tear TOdd, and I am not surprised you are starting to build a real,meaningful community at your school and beyond. The fact that you are awesome, patient, and cool with everyone doesn’t hurt.It’s my theory it takes one or two people who really believe and want to work with people to help them wrap their head around this stuff to make a cultural change. The reason being is that faculty and students truly do want to grapple with these new platforms, tools, and concepts, but as we both know it takes time, patience, and an extended network to start to feel like you are getting anywhere.

    Kudos you you on the culture changing work, and I am more than jealous about the marathon—go Oblivion, go!