I am excited to have started another on-line class and my first class with Alec Couros. This class is using many forms of technology and while is being delivered as "distance" education (not in a physical classroom) it already is highly engaging and personal. Our first class started this past week with a live session and it was cool to see how the class was going to operate. Even though no one was in the same room (I don't even know if Alec was actually in Canada as I think he was running the class off his phone in an airport somewhere), it was in real-time and highly engaging.
Our first assignments seem simple enough. I think it is more trying to get people familiar with the technology. When I first heard the final evaluation was not a paper I almost jumped for joy! I understand the value of papers, but they never have been a strong area for me (although I do feel I have improved greatly in this area). Truthfully, I kind of resent them. I felt some profs would only be looking closely at APA style and spend little attention on the thoughts and ideas. I understand why that is, but it just never felt balanced.
After thinking about it, it look like the final project is going to be way more thought and time consuming than any paper I have ever done. I am okay with that if it is something I feel I can really grow from and that sounds like what the intention will be. I have never even heard the term "mooc" before so I spent sometime getting familiar with it. I have a great deal of experience with Apple products and in 2007 I was named an Apple Distinguished Educator. Through Apple, I have spent a great deal of time in their iTunes U environment and even started to develop a music course in iTunes U. The concept of open education has the potential to be very powerful.
I did a little digging and came across Coursera. After spending a little time searching classes I felt like signing up for many classes! As a musician, I have always wanted to study music further than my experiences and U of R, but the reality of having a full-time job, family and the expense are factors that make that impossible at this point. I did discover some wonderful music classes offered by Berkley; in song writing and one in music production. I decided to sign-up for both of them. I have no idea how involved they might be (it says it is a six week class with six to eight hours a week) and I am not sure how taking two classes plus this class is going to fly with my limited time?
Regardless, it is really cool to discover the possibilities!