Those of you who read my last post will already be familiar with the idea of #CLMOOC, but I hope you'll indulge me a little bit today as I talk about it again. I guess I just can't stop writing about it! This is kinda the point though, isn't it? :)
#CLMOOC stands for Connected Learning Massive Open Online Collaborative. To put that in laymen's terms, it's an online forum (and a few of them) for educators to have fun with the ways we create meaning in all sorts of different mediums, both virtual and material.
The #CLMOOC technically lasts for 6 weeks. Each week, participants are given a prompt on Monday that encourages us to make... something. We all get to work creating something inspired by the prompt. We play with apps, use our favorite tools, pull out our cameras and take a walk, recruit family members to play along, or do whatever we feel inspired to try.
Throughout the week we share our processes and products with other CLMOOCers on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and through our respective blogs (look for the tag #CLMOOC in all those places). We also have the opportunity to tap into scheduled sharings, like Make with Me webinars, Twitter chats, Find5Fridays, and end-of-the-week reflections.
The whole thing is designed to inspire educators from around the world to take some time out to make, share, reflect and get ready to inspire our students to do the same.
For the next few weeks, I'll be blogging about #CLMOOC for a couple reasons. First, #CLMOOC helps me be a better teacher, and I want to take full advantage of that. This seems a little obvious... that consciously writing, making, and reflecting would make me a better teacher of making, writing, and reflecting.
But it goes beyond that.
Being part of a network of so many different makers shows me not just new tools and fun ways of engaging with them, but also new perspectives, questions, and challenges. Just last week Susan raised some excellent questions of tech equity and access in her blogpost, Don't Sit on My Fire Hydrant.
This is something I've been thinking about lately, being conscious of the variety in my students' experiences with and through technology. Though I've not been sure how to put into words my concern, I found the words right there in front of my in Susan's post.
The dialogue that followed in the blog comments and throughout #CLMOOC was and will continue to be critical to the success of technology saturated classrooms. How do we level the playing field in the classroom? How do we make sure not to privilege certain groups, experiences as we work to bring our students the newest and shiniest from the world of tech? These are questions I have not answered, but I appreciate #CLMOOC for giving me a platform to slow down and really investigate them.
The second reason I'll be blogging more about #CLMOOC is that it's fun.
F. U. N.
It just is!
This week is an excellent example of that, so let me give you just a quick glimpse into it. I'm teaching summer courses right now, so I wasn't able to read this week's prompt until I finished a batch of grading yesterday afternoon (shout out to my 1101 bloggers!). As soon as I read the prompt, asking us to reMEDIAte something we'd created earlier, I started brainstorming ways I could jump in. I packed up my things in the office, walked to my car, and by the time I pulled out of my parking spot, I knew what it I wanted to do.
It had been a few weeks since I'd been able to paint, so I decided to take my Week 1 untro wordles and reMEDIAte them on canvas. As soon as I got home, I put on my painting clothes, marched up to my studio/guest bedroom and stayed there until the World Cup match demanded my attention.
Here's what I've come up with so far.
And already, after sharing it to G+ last night, other CLMOOCers have left comments and asked questions that are helping me reflect and adjust my approach. I am itching to get back to the canvas tonight and keep going.
My hope in sharing #CLMOOC here is that some of you will be inspired to check it out for yourselves. I've linked things throughout this post, but here's the direct link to the #CLMOOC sign-up. Signing up will get the prompt sent to your inbox for the next four Mondays so you can make along with me.
So let me ask this before I go. What's the last thing you made? I'd love for you to tell me about it in the comments.
Amanda J. Hedrick
Story collector, recipe enthusiast, educator, striving for a constant input and output of all things art and learning.