Category Archives: clmooc

Blog for the clmooc experience

#clmooc Make Cycle 3 Reflection

Interesting week for the Make Cycle 3.  We have used mapping to connect with our peers about various topics.  I did make one map or rather more of a flowchart that one could use to think about new online programs.  I am pretty concrete and application-driven.  But, this is also apparent in my fields of study…. chemistry, science education, and now an applied doctoral degree.  Philosophical views of learning are important, but I am more interested in the application of these views.

One of the questions this week was about how my learning and making is supported by peers.  Since I am a interpersonal learner (according to Gardner’s MI theory), making connections and learning from my peers is ideal for me.  I enjoy brainstorming with colleagues, but seldom do we have the time to let this happen.  As a result, I have relied on Twitter and other social media to provide “anytime, anywhere” interpersonal learning.

Since my teaching areas are in the sciences, I encourage my students to form learning groups.  At one time I made this mandatory, but realized that not every student wanted to learn with others.  We as teachers need to be cognizant that not all students learn the way we learn and that we need to offer students multiple methods for knowledge acquisition.

I hope to participate in the upcoming Twitter chats and Google Hangouts.  But, every weeknight is filled with my kids’ activities so I’m not sure if I will be able to make it.  The beauty of the MOOC is that nothing is graded or mandatory and is a practical application of the principles of learner autonomy.  I hope to take advantage of this autonomy and learn for the sake of learning.

The Long Ride Home #clmooc

The Long Ride Home

It has become a tradition….   An annual bike ride on the Pine Creek Rail Trail that follows Pine Creek from Wellsboro, PA through the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon to Jersey Shore, PA.  Initially, it was just my husband and me, but as my children grew older, they accompanied us.  Now, it’s my two older kids, Jacob and Emma, along with a few of their athletic, hardcore friends.  Since we can barely fit this trip into our hectic schedule, we have decided to make it a Fourth of July tradition.

Here are a few of our highlights.

We began in Wellsboro, PA.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


First stop Darling Run….  2013-07-04 09.59.00 This is the head of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

This is a shot of the cliffs along the Canyon.    2013-07-04 17.06.16


Lunch at Blackwell.    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEric brought a 2lb jar of peanut butter.  Poor Tom…..

A jump from Rattlesnake Rock (click here) and another jump.



And a flip off Rattlesnake Rock.   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(pretty good form Max).

Emma and McCartney didn’t want to leave….  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand Jacob wanted to be in every picture.



and another break below Cedar Run (it was hot!!) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Miles 40-55 were long and hot.  Legs were tired and butts were getting sore.

Last stop near Ramsey.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This stretch home was very familiar as we frequently bike this area.

The end of our trip entering the Boro of Jersey Shore.


And Dinner!   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I couldn’t wait to get a shower!


Make Cycle 3 #clmooc

I have not been keeping up with my blog entries about my #clmooc experience.  In fact, life has really been taking my time hostage.  I am pretty sure I put over 1000 miles on my car just taxiing the kids to their activities and friends’ houses.  The weekend activities required my #swimmom and #basketballmom attire.  I will one day wish these days back….

Back to the #clmooc….  The best part about participating in a MOOC is that there are no “due dates” or assignments that must be complete.  I liken this experience to a restaurant smorgasbord… here are your options, take as much or as little as you want.  These past few days I have been in lurker-mode.  Reading but not much making.  This week’s Make Cycle is titled Interest-powered, peer-supported, and connected.  From the #clmooc blog, we are asked to consider how, “we focus our thinking and reflection around the Learning Principles in Connected Learning: interest-powered, peer-supported, and connected to larger systems.

As you create and compose this week, we invite you to think about these questions:

  • How is what you create driven by your interests?
  • How is your learning and making supported by peers?
  • How is your learning and making connected to larger systems?”

We are asked to Make with Me using maps.  I chose to do a Mindomo mindmap.  Since I mostly create things driven by my profession, I created a mindmap on how one would think about starting a new online program.  Take a look at My FIRST Mindomo map.  It’s not very complex or creative, but it is a start.  The cool thing about Mindomo is that it is collaborative.  I could send the link to a colleague and he/she could add to it.  I am all about collaboration!! The more brains the better!

Back to Make Cycle 3…  My “creations” are often driven by professional interests.  I LOVE designing new courses, especially those delivered online.  I feel online courses allow me to be more creative as I am not bound to the traditional lecture….. though I am breaking free of the lecture… I love teaching, but I would love to help teachers design new courses that integrate constructivism and technology.

It is my goal to implement more problem- inquiry-based activities into my classroom.  I just have to use my creativity, peer-support as a #connected educator.

My First TweetChat #clmooc

If you have been following my blog, you will get the sense that I have been dabbling in several new ways to learn and share knowledge.  One of the best aspects of being part of a MOOC, especially one that is focused on Connected Learning, is that I feel very comfortable trying new things.  I am relatively new at Twitter…. I have gone from Lurker to Re-Tweeter to Tweeter, and now to Collaborator through the TweetChat.  However, I felt more like a Lurker in TweetChat than a Collaborator.

Since I had never participated in a TweetChat, the first thing I realized was that it moved really fast and I could not Tweet and read at the same time.  I downloaded TweetDeck so that I could see the Timeline, Interactions, Tweet, and following the #clmooc chat simultaneously.  Worked pretty well, but it was still fast moving (thankfully the Tweets are limited to 140 characters….).  For those who could not make the Chat OR those of us who are slow readers or easily distracted, +Steph West-Puckett compiled the Make Two #clmooc chat using Storify (darn… I have yet to try this!!).

As a result of this chat, the participants decided it would be fun to Make a Stop Motion Video.    I think I’m going to try this one.

Overall, I can definitely see value in a TweetChat for learning.  Not sure how my students would feel about doing one, but I will participate in one again for MY learning.  I think there is a #flipclass TwitterChat on Mondays.  Might “poke my head in” and lurk.

For those of you interested in TweetChats, I found a list of chats here.  As you can see it covers a wide range of topics.  And here is a “How to Survive a TweetChat” survival guide.  It’s pretty funny…. and spot on.  I probably should have read this before I dove in, but I like to try something first then prepare for it.  🙂

Maker Movement #clmooc

Again, “making” is not a passion of mine, but I see the value. As an educator, I need to move outside my comfort zone and offer students alternate ways of learning.. not just learning using the methods that are comfortable with me.  The idea of learning through making is called the Maker Movement.  You can read about it here.

Yesterday in the #clmooc (Connect Learning MOOC), we explored hacking toys.  Not something I actually did, but I was able to view what others were doing.  (I spent most of my day “making” surveys for my dissertation and #flipclass study… so I guess I did “make” something yesterday :).  I participated in a Make with Me hangout last night in Google Hangouts… you can view the archived hangout here.

My 11 y/o son popped in and out and was very interested in the hacking of toys and the conversation about MindCraft that transpired.   Alex is not a traditional learner.  He is creative, kinesthetic, and a great storyteller.  He is at a computer camp this week using Blender to build video games.  Learning this way is ideal for him… he is learning geometry, art, graphics, computer skills, and story telling in a problem-based environment.  The learning is differentiated as there is a wide range of ages and ability levels.  Alex is able to progress through the concepts at his pace.  You can view Alex’s Blender tutorial here.  And a snapshot of his work at computer camp here on Vine.

Emma took to “making” last night as she tried her hand at whoopie pies.  They were pretty good, but we need to work on the filling.  View her process of making whoopie pies here.

Overall, a rich learning experience as this asks me to explore alternate ways of learning and teaching.

#clmooc Try New Apps

Yesterday I tried a few more apps/software that will allow me to share video and photos dynamically and through social media.

Many of the #clmooc participants are using Vine to connect with others through a 6 second video.  I have an Android phone and tablet and was able to easily download it through Google Play.  Through Vine I was able to view my Twitter connections and see their Vine activity.  When I did this, I saw that my 15 year old son was using Vine.  I follow him on Twitter, but he is pretty much inactive.  BUT, he had about 5 videos on Vine!  I chose not to follow him, but I did “like” one of his videos.  Realizing this, he quickly blocked me and said that I was the only old person on Vine and that it was creepy.  I was a little taken aback but pressed the comment.

I asked him if he could see this used as a learning tool.  He said no because Vine only allowed 6 seconds of video.  He saw no use for real learning or sharing information.  My 13 year old daughter quickly chimed in and said that YouTube would be much better.  We also discussed “old people” entering the “teens” social media presence.  Both my teens said they blocked parents on Instagram and Vine.  This brings to question whether using teens’ social media in the classroom is advantageous.  I agree with those who look at this as the Creepy Treehouse Effect (read about it here).  I think some social media is appropriate and beneficial in the classroom (like Twitter where you can follow a hashtag, not a person or FB where you can set up a private group and not be a “friend”).  But the more we enter our students’ space, the more resistance we will get.

I also tried Animoto yesterday.  It is free for videos under 30 seconds.  You can purchase an upgrade ($30/year) if you want longer videos.  I can definitely see a use for a class project if an upgrade was purchased.  As an example, view this States 2013.

I have not tried Storify yet, but plan on playing with it a bit today.  More on that tomorrow.

This week #clmooc participants are entering Make Cycle 2:  Shared Purpose and Open Networks.  “For this second Make Cycle, we focus our thinking and reflection around the Connected Learning Design Principles, exploring the connections we make in open networks around shared purposes. ”  

I’m really looking forward to this week!!  Come back to see how this unfolds!!