… or should I call myself a ‘dipper’, because that’s what I do: dipping in and out of #ocTEL 2014, without contributing much. That’s rather selfish. Something I normally try NOT to be.

Today I found an excellent summary of the ocTEL group ‘Enthusing staff with TEL‘. This summary structures the numerous contributions (with attribution to the originators), and it also reflects on them. Thus it becomes an  invaluable resource for people like me, who feel easily overwhelmed by lively online discussion groups, where lots of “thought waves” from people interested and engaged in subject areas relevant for my professional life “wash” over me to an extend that it sometimes almost feels like “drowning”. Here’s the link to this fantastic summary, which can be used a bit like a mini resource bank for the future, when I hopefully will have the odd moment to explore some topics further (Resistance to change, Building relationships, Peer influence, Strategies for sharing, Communication channels):


Now I’m off to a session about the development of MOOCs / OOCs, wondering if this session will be attended by ‘the usual suspects’, or if there will be a few new faces …?


I just enrolled on the new instance of this ‘Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning’ #ocTEL, hoping I find more time to engage with the course this time round. Even if I can’t be more than a ‘lurker’ (yet again) I still think it’s very important to keep up-to-date with the CMALT agenda, which is part of this course …

There’s this motto ‘keep trying’ … And time and again, I do try another MOOC, because being curious is my second nature.

I was intrigued when FutureLearn started, and I enrolled in Web science: how the web is changing the world. I even started blogging about it in my Tumblr blog, see for example web science – slightly scary prospects. But I didn’t manage to follow it through, despite liking the general design of FutureLearn courses! It’s a bit linear, but each unit offers engaging material. Now I’m on another FutureLearn course, and again I’m ways behind with my studies. Why does this always happen to me with MOOCs?

  • Do I have too much to do and can’t fit it in?
  • Is it because it’s voluntary and there’s no exam and a certificate at the end?
  • Am not interested enough?
  • Try to do too many new things at any one time, giving in to my curiosity?

Perhaps I should give up experimenting, and finally try to find a research focus? But maybe experimenting is simply ‘what I do’, and it’s a way of researching in itself.

I’m one of the #ocTEL participants who only manage to dip in and out of the course from time to time, despite the best intentions I didn’t find my focus. BUT: it’s a bit like a treasure trove. Whenever I dip in I find something fascinating. This morning it was a post by someone called GraphDesProject, and his post pointed me to a  brilliant resource about the history of typography. It also led me to Brain Pickings, a ‘human powered discovery engine for interestingness’. I also discovered in this process that I’m already a member on Tumblr. So on one hand, I’ve been led astray by just following one link in one of the numerous contributions to the ocTEL site. On the other hand, I learned a lot. Now I’ve got to return to the daily chores of my job … but I feel a lot better for having had this short exploration first thing in the morning!

Rather pleased that I managed to attend the webinar today, which was informative. Some notes:

Before designing activities: look at learning and teaching needs educators want to address in their teaching practice

This can be useful for the forthcoming Moodle sessions we are going to run here in HLS soon, as it’s not merely ‘how-to’. It’s the more complex activities in Moodle we’re going to tackle.

Designing for active engagement in technology enhanced contexts

Helen Walmsley’s best practice models for elearning

Grainne Conole’s 7C’s of Learning Design

3E Framework (Edinburgh Napier University):

Enhance (minimum) – Extend (give students more responsibility) – Empower (authentic activities reflecting the prof. environment!)

Unfortunately I then got interrupted by someone storming into the office requesting help. But hopefully I’ll be able to find my way into the activities this week …

ocTEL – I’ve been trying to follow this new MOOC type experience since Thursday 4 April 2013 – day 1. Not very successfully. There’s something about MOOCs which does not seem to agree with me and the way I learn. The biggest problem is: finding a focus. Many interesting posts/people/topics. As a learning technologist I am curious about (almost) everything related to TEL. I was supposed to formulate ‘a big question’. I don’t have one big question. Every single question seems as big as all the others, depending on the context.

Does this mean that my big question is: How does a learning technologist find his/her very own focus within TEL? Officially I can’t even call myself a ‘learning technologist’ any longer. The most recent re-structuring magically turned me into a DMeLD (digital media and elearning developer). In this context I already contemplated the focus question from a different perspective in another blog, see ‘What’s in a DMeLD‘.

I did set up this blog when recently trying another MOOC, and all I ever managed to note down were my pathetic Monday discoveries.

I’ll keep trying …  taking things lightly …


Two new things today: set myself up in Cloudworks (or rather: refreshed an old account!) and set up this new blog to make notes of stuff I come across in ‘everyday’ work.