Sunday, 10 April 2011

MobiMOOC - Reflections on Week One

Well, week one of the mobiMOOC course has been inspiring, interesting, baffling, frustrating, absorbing, time-consuming, and thought-provoking - probably all in equal measure!

I have learned a lot and have found some of the links really useful.   For example, I am now fully conversant with Evernote and have become one of its most vociferous advocates almost overnight.  I have also learned (finally!) how to correctly place a link in a blog post (see previous link to Evernote!).  I am also getting to grips with QR codes, although I have to say that I am not yet fully 'au fait' with these!  I think I'm beginning to understand a lot of the terminology associated with m-learning, and I have made some useful contacts in my field of EFL teaching.  I have also been mightily impressed with Inge 'Ignatia' de Waard in her role as facilitator for week one - I don't believe she can have slept at all this week judging by her almost continuous online presence!

So, it's all been good then?  Well, no, not really!  I feel like I've had to plough through a lot of irrelevant or repetitive material to get to the useful nuggets.  As an ardent supporter of the 'Plain English Campaign', I have found some of the jargon incomprehensible.  A glossary which explained the numerous acronyms and other specialist vocabulary would have been quite useful.  This is why I was drawn to and commented on, the post by Jenni Parker when she attempted to define the terms.  She blogged about it here

For me, speaking as a teacher, the first rule of learning is that it should be fun.  Don't get me wrong, I take my job very seriously, but see the key to my success as a teacher as being my ability to engage my students by making their lessons enjoyable for them.  Fun has been a little lacking for me in week one of mobiMOOC.  The contributions from participants have been commendable - informative and stimulating - and yet somewhat earnest.  So, I have to say that a highlight of the week for me was watching the recording of the Elluminate Live session (I was unable to participate on Monday night due to teaching committments).  One of the contributors, John, popped up centre screen and started eating his supper, seemingly oblivious to the fact that we could all see him!  Inge made reference to the fact and John, rather than switching his webcam off, simply angled it to give us all a view of the top of his head and the ceiling.  I know I could have closed the window, but I kept it open just in case John had any other tricks up his sleeve!  Thanks, John, for giving me a laugh!!

So, am I disheartened after the first week of mobiMOOC?  No!  I will continue and I am sure I will learn more as the weeks go on.  I'm no nearer to deciding on my mlearning project, but, as this is the topic for week two, I am confident that will change.

I'll let you know this time next week!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

MobiMOOC 2 April - 14 May 2011

I signed up for this free MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) about mobile learning a few days ago, having seen a link during an #eltchat about the subject on Twitter on Wednesday evening. During the said chat, I felt like I was missing something - like I wasn't really part of the gang. I was ashamed of my own ignorance, so I decided to do something about it and registered for the course.

What on earth is a MOOC? This was my first question, so I turned to the oracle that is YouTube & found several videos including this one which gave me the answer:

Having established what a MOOC was, I now had to get to grips with what mlearning was. I lurked around the mobiMOOC wiki ( and the group discussion pages ( I read all the information provided by the facilitators and the posts from course participants. And then came the revelation! I'm not as ignorant as I thought I was! Unfamiliar with the jargon certainly, but not totally clueless in reality.

You see, I already engage in mlearning every day. I just didn't know I was doing it! I use my mobile phone to talk, to send & receive messages, and to take photos which I sometimes use in class. I use my i-Pod Touch to access the internet via wi-fi, to manage my contacts and my diary, to keep notes, and to listen to podcasts and share them with my students. I use my laptop to do everything else, including to write my blog. All of these things, I now understand, are mlearning!

Forgive me for being a bit late to the party, but I'm here now and I won't be lurking behind the curtains any more! I'm starting to go through the course materials and following up on links provided by my fellow participants. I'm hugely encouraged by what I have seen so far and I'm really looking forward to being more actively involved over the next few weeks.