Friday 16 November 2012

Lesson 1: Be prepared!

Global warming candle for Earth Hour

Very clever, the course is meant to start at the end of January, and here we all are, engaged and establishing our online community more than two months before we "start"! I'm going to use this blog to keep a record of my personal notes and lessons and perhaps there is something useful here for others as well. New learning means joining the dots yourself, working out how to use tools and information others (both teachers and students) make available through all these different platforms we are exploring. Collaborative social learning for sure! 
This early start is essential if students are expected to utilize a range of online tools. Notes for today:

  • Setup of online platforms we will be using in the course. Suddenly twittering, reactivating my much disliked facebook, cranking up google+ and the youtube library and bringing blogger to life. 
  • Through the #edcmooc hashtag on twitter, we are all introducing ourselves. There are lots of us and I'm wondering if like my last coursera course (where there were reportedly 26,000 students) I will find the enormity overwhelming and back out of the forums.
  • But wait, in the stream of #edcmoocs, we see Chris Swift has set up a google map where we can all pin our locations. So instead of endless scrolling through our tweets, we have a visual representation, linking people to places and pulling the drawstring to make something big and spread out look manageable. Very,very good. Mentally, I can cope with this. eLearning and Digital Cultures MOOC Course Map
  • There is a need to update my coursera profile and am wondering at this stage where to park the links to all the different sites we will be using. I see we can do this in the edcmoocs google,  or even on twitter. Perhaps this blog is my personal mothership in this course. 


  1. Hi Angela!
    I find it really helpful that you pointed the most essential issues. More than two months before the course actually begins, I start learning so many things about other people's opinions and attitudes, which provides great food for thinking. You've mentioned your 'last coursera course'. Is it OK if I ask you what course it was? And what is your general impression?

    P.S. Thanks for your feedback about using the buttons labelled in Russian. I realise that it can be challenging. I've already changed the settings:)

  2. Hi Elena, I have just completed Introduction to Sustainability ( was 8 weeks long and absolutely fantastic. I didn't want to become an expert, but wanted to learn enough to fill in the gaps in my understandings and get a good overview of where things like climate, energy, population etc are at. Highly recommend it. I think this one is shaping up to be quite good don't you think? I already have 2 things I would like to see implemented in the course I tutor in, the first being a long lead in time for course orientation, and the map. Love the map!

  3. Hello Angela
    I also love the map - it's so useful to visualise something so complex in a single image. It's something I'll be recommending too, to the distance learning tutors here at the University of Nottingham.

    The introduction to sustainability course sounds fascinating. We have just published some free open courseware resources on the subject, some of them along with iBook versions

    Sustainability and engineering

    Sustainability in the arts and humanities

    Sustainability: the business perspective

    Sustainability: the geography perspective

  4. Hi Angela,
    I agree wirh a lot of your points, joining the dots and keeping track of everything especially. I think you got off to a good start. PS - I'm also wondering where to store all the different links & pages we need - I'm sure someone will have a neat idea somewhere! Good luck with the course

  5. Thanks Sally, links downloading now from the first links. Itunes was annoying, you can only open books on ipad/ipod/iphone, gave mine away and ditched apple a while back! But hopefully the other download method will give me something to open. Your blog is good Chris, I must make mine more functional... later!