Collaborative #eduMOOC Blog

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Please add a heading, your post, and sign your name after your post like this --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 14:42, 27 June 2011 (UTC).

July 14

The come back of a lurker! Well, at least a try for a come back. A lot of work to review, here, in Moodle... Let's see, how easy is to come back after a week of absence? Anna Krassa 00:11 EEST, 14 July

Welcome back, Anna. You were dearly missed. Let's see how we get the Moodlers back on track. --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 04:07, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
Glad to be back Nellie, yesterday I spend some time in Moodle... and guess what... I really enjoyed! :-D It was very easy to get activated and see what I had missed. Some really interesting discussions. Now I am curious to see any further replies. :-) Anna Krassa 10:14 EEST, 14 July
Anna, what I'm concerned about is that none of the members of the eduMOOC Moodle course are active. Have they turned into lurkers or what? How do we encourage them to get back on the ball? --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 14:51, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

July 13

I enjoyed Jeff Lebow's eduMOOC talk via google plus hangout. Great session! I would to thank Jeff for setting up the hangout and streaming it. Too bad the hangouts cannot be recorded and saved so we can share them. --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 16:50, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

I learned quite a bit about our online connections and the need for people to identify themselves or share online profiles. I feel that we are so far behind in what I consider our hangups with people's gender and demographics (location, education and jobs). Is the next generation going to get over these little biases? Will online learning with people from around the globe lower the need for a background check before connecting? I mean for all we need people can lie about who they are so why force them to identify themselves? Am I my roles in life or am I what I managed to learn from my roles? --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 16:50, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Benjamin Stewart brought up a very important point about meaningful learning and what I refer to as serious learning. It seems to me that the MOOCs are just a fun learning experience. We learn as we go and find meaning. I don't think an instructor/facilitator/teacher can make learning meaningful for us. I also believe that the MOOCs reflect life and how we learn. There isn't much control in our lives although we may not like to accept it. We do not control what happens to us. We have choices, but the rest is up to whatever... Life happens, learning happens, thinking happens. We are just here for the ride so let's enjoy the experience. Yes, I'm an existentialist. --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 16:50, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Attended a session titled "iPads in Tertiary Education" at my university in Auckland today. It highlighted iPads, podcasting and ePub. Text-to-Speech only came up in the context of eBook readers which read the text aloud. The example was a children's book.

Following a presentation on the benefits and drawbacks of podcasting at CITRENZ 2011 last week, this presentation on Wiki-to-Speech offered a simple, viable alternative. Or so it seemed to me. Maybe not yet simple enough? Or slick enough?

Regarding lurkers, consider that they do generate traffic. Most of Wikipedia's value is use by lurkers. --John Graves 10:00, 13 July 2011 (UTC).

Had fun on the Google+ hangout. Here is the quick (6 slide) Wiki-to-Speech summary. --John Graves 16:00, 13 July 2011 (UTC).

July 11

What can we accomplish with lurkers? --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 11:23, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

July 10

I loved the live online session with Vance and Jeff because I learn so much from discussions. I prefer voice first and then written discussions. Having just asynchronous interactions, doesn't seem to sustain my interest. Scoopit is turning out to be a great tool for organizing the information on eduMOOC. Vance has an eduMOOC and I created eduMOOC 4 ALL. --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 11:23, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Had a hangout group chat on google + to work on the schedule for the Math & Arts conference in 2 weeks. It was an awesome experience. I also invited about 20 people to google +. I was truly multi-tasking, today with 2 live sessions on WizIQ (online learning and Moodle for Teachers Intermediate class) and one on Learning Times (Elluminate) on eduMOOC with Jeff and Vance. --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 11:23, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

July 9

Keeping the discussions on eduMOOC engaging so people don't lose interest takes a great deal of time. What keeps eduMOOC going are the participants' motivation. What characterizes a MOOCer? --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 14:09, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Multi-tasking is draining. eduMOOC and my other online commitments (writing and organizing conferences) are forcing me to do a lot more than I ever expected. I am engaged in WikiEducator, facebook, google docs/groups/plus/cloud connect, and Moodle at IT4ALL for eduMOOC. In addition, I'm trying to write an article for a Russian journal/conference, organizing MMVC11 (online) and Math & Arts (face-to-face & online) conferences.

July 8

Why Wiki-to-Speech Makes Sense

Watched a talk by Roger Schank last night which resonated with some of the ideas behind the Wiki-to-Speech project. Schank described a $2 million system called EXTRA, Experts Telling Relevant Advice, designed for Johnson & Johnson to provide searchable, just-in-time, video story telling. As I listened to Schank, I was updating a Popplet on learning theory (part of the set of eduMOOC popplets I've been creating).

Our eduMOOC panel for week 2 (see notes and slides) gave a surprisingly podcast-like webinar. At least I didn't notice the video feed changing. The panel featured top experts in on-line learning and they were NOT using video. I think that says something about the use of video for learning.

Video for learning is all the rage these days. The number of video lessons delivered at Khan Academy goes up by about 1 million per week. Currently the number is "63,750,992 lessons delivered" -- which, you have to admit, is a lot for one teacher! I ran across Elliott Masie in this list of top e-Learning Movers and Shakers and found he is about to run a Video for Learning LAB & Seminar in Saratoga Springs, July 18-20, 2011. Now I love TED talks. But I was not surprised to learn during our first eduMOOCast that Dave Cormier's great intro-to-MOOC videos have a 4 hours:4 minutes production-to-playback ratio. Dave justifies this investment by the high user-to-producer ratio; thousands of people will watch (and share) his videos when he raises the production quality with the help of a video expert.

There are downsides to video: passive, no collaboration, hard to edit later, expensive in terms of bandwidth. People have wanted to use video for education for decades and it has never caught on. Perhaps it just doesn't work very well for learning. As Are you smarter than a 5th grader? demonstrates, video is good for entertainment. It works for news and spectator sports. And, of course, video works very well for advertising. Advertising has a fundamental, inherent-in-the-medium message: "Here is something you don't have." That is a message which promotes consumption, not learning. What is different about the exceptions, such as Harvard University's Justice with Michael Sandel? I contend that, to be effective for learning, video production quality (and hence expense) must be very high.

Schank makes the point that fancy technology does not always help with learning. Links or presentations or video which merely "go and show" lack engagement. Khan has had to develop a set of exercises so learners have an opportunity to practice what has been demonstrated in his videos. How can we build practice spaces collaboratively? Wiki-to-Speech offers a possible answer.

Wikipedia crowdsources the expense of its content development. An English language Wikipedia article has 19.37 edits per page on average (as of today). This can mean anything in the range of extremes: from the original author changing their own content about 20 times to about 20 different authors contributing to an article. Whatever the case, the 144,615 active contributors produce content for 381 million unique visitors (as of April 2011) giving a user:producer ratio of about 2600:1. As Dave Cormier pointed out when he created his videos, it is worth spending more time, effort and money on production quality for an audience of 2500 at eduMOOC than would be justified for a classroom of 30 students.

Wiki-to-Speech enables a combination of presentation and question/response which can be collaboratively produced and delivered to a mobile device using about 75% less bandwidth than an equivalent video. A Wiki-to-Speech script can be a story with follow up questions. A script can be Google-searchable online text on a wiki, just like a Wikipedia article. In other words, it has the potential to deliver something similar to Schank's $2 million system for any subject, for free.

Where Wiki-to-Speech Needs Help

Wiki-to-Speech playback technology has not yet been implemented as a browser plug-in. This means a user currently needs to download a separate Mac or Windows or Android application to access the core functionality of reading a wiki page and interpreting it as a text-to-speech script. (The source code is also available for Linux users to run.) So the eduMOOC Wiki-to-Speech presentations take a stop-gap approach: pre-recording the text as audio files which can play in Firefox.

Wiki-to-Speech authoring technology also needs better integration with presentation software, but the critical first step of writing a script can now be done in PowerPoint or OpenOffice with the results output to a Public Dropbox folder for sharing. What makes TED and Khan Academy so compelling is the quantity and quality of content at each site. If more and better quality Wiki-to-Speech scripts can be created, they can start to link together and create a distributed resource.

As a creator of this technology, I am very likely blind to its shortcomings. So if you can't contribute, please criticize. Please watch this video where I explain how I see Wiki-to-Speech (formerly Open Allure) fitting in the context of other online tools. --John Graves 00:54, 9 July 2011 (UTC).

July 8

I am enjoying the Moodle social format experience on Integrating Technology. The social Moodle platform is providing the participants with the opportunity to post questions and respond to each other. It may seem similar to the google group discussion format, but it is not. The experience is very different. I have also joined a group on facebook which also has a totally different feel to it. I am continually multi-tasking as I get email notifications from facebook, Moodle, and google groups. Multi-tasking has a price, I suppose, but it appeals to me. --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 12:01, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Free Online Learning

I have been providing free online professional development workshops for a number of years. We have had over 200 participants for each of the courses (at times). I also facilitated free online workshops on WikiEducator called Learning for Content (L4C) and had over 200 participants in one of the workshops. I am not sure whether 200 could be considered a MOOC. I often wonder about the role of free online learning. I would like to find out whether people joined eduMOOC because it was free. In other words, would you have joined if eduMOOC were not free? Would you have paid just for the experience? I conducted a survey on the subject of free e-learning 2 or 3 months ago. You are invited to take the survey and join me in co-researching the subject of free online learning. --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 12:01, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Research Study

Free learning on the Internet is becoming popular with many learners, but is there a price? My name is Nellie Deutsch (Ed.D) and I am conducting a research study on free online learning. I would like to point out that your identity will not be disclosed to anyone. Only the results of the study will be reported, but without any names or any information that would lead to your identity. Please fill in the information as best as you can so we can learn about your experiences with free online learning. You may add your name if you wish to receive the results of the study or would like to take part in the study.


Debra Mynar

Questions and Comments

What is the purpose of the research? Who is the audience? Who will benefit from the research and how? What theoretical or conceptual framework/lenses...? What type of research design and methodology will be used? (Mary Rearick)

July 5, 2011

I would be interested in creating an artifact for eduMOOC. Maybe a WebQuest?? I need to do more than engage in discussions and texting. Anyone suggestions? --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 07:30, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

July 2, 2011 (Manu Aute Kite Day in New Zealand)

Excited by the amount of interest eduMOOC has generated for Wiki-to-Speech (see Moodle post). If enough people get interested in collaboratively creating learning materials here, the proverbial snowball can start rolling. --John Graves 12:27, 2 July 2011 (UTC).

Hi John, your enthusiasm is coming through loud and clear. I share your hope in collaboratively creating learning content. I would go further and add co-designing and co-facilitation into the equation. I believe the online content would be enhanced by adding online facilitation. --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 12:50, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

July 1, 2011 (Canada Day)

Happy Canada Day!!! My self-reflection on Canada Day. I wonder if it's necessary to stay to the very end of a MOOC. What will you gain by completing a MOOC? Maybe there's more learning in quitting before the end. Would it be the same if the MOOC were not free and for credit? --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 09:43, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

June 28, 2011

I am connecting for authentic learning, but is this what eduMOOC is about? Can we be closer to strangers than to our close friends that we meet face-to-face? I found the theory of the strength of weak ties by Mark Granovetter is not only fascinating reading but true in many of my online connections. I developed some very close friendships with people online before we actually met face-to-face. The idea is the people who are distant from us can have stronger impacts on our lives than those who are close to us. --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 20:54, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Granovetter, M. S. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360-1380.
You can find an Mark Granovetter on The strength of weak ties: A network theory revisited by googling it.

First day

Today is the first day of the MOOC though still I haven't the time to review any content. I have watched the introductory videos and having them in mind I am trying to find my way... My way, through facebook, linkedin, WikiEducator and the bright new Moodle. Thank you Nellie Initially I thought to keep a Moodle blog for notes. But I feel quite comfortable here too. :-) --Anna Krassa 23:32, 27 June 2011 (EEST)

Anna, I'm also in the where's the content mode. In fact, I'm not sure of the objectives of eduMOOC. What are the objectives of #eduMOOC? Can someone please enlighten me on the objectives? --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 18:30, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm thinking the same. This is my 2nd MOOC, the first CCK11, I joined to learn about learning theories, connectivism and to build a network, mission accomplished with that. This seems to have less structure and its up to the participants to form their own interest groups and objectives, at least thats what I see happening. This is the strength of the group formed here, using our experiences as participants to form some guidelines or to ascertain the effectiveness of a MOOC as a method of delivery in an OERu context, giving us our own unique purpose.--Steph 21:16, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Steph, I have taken every MOOC around since 2008 with CCK08. Each had topics/learning objectives, but this one doesn't seem to have anything but a title. Maybe the purpose is in the title like in mobiMOOC. --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 21:23, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Nellie, an interesting comment came from a member of CCK11 facebook group who is struggling with the same question. The writer felt they were following a "herd" without any sense of direction. Perhaps things will become clear after the panel discussion tomorrow. I think the title itself too broad to be an objective. Im waiting for my aha moment so I can post it into Waynes "Aha" page :) --Steph 01:24, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Joined eduMOOOC

I just joined the study / planning group for the eduMOOC course on WikiEducator. I love teaming up and working collaboratively because that's the best way for me to learn and be productive. --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 14:42, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

PLE for eduMOOC

I used to use wikispaces with my students until I discovered mediawiki and Wikieducator. I am having a hard time going back to wikispaces for the edumooc. How do others feel about wikispaces vs WikiEducator? I realize that we have our individual preferences for choosing our personal and professional learning environments (PLE), but would still like to hear what others have to say. What do you prefer for a PLE? --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 14:42, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Past MOOCs

  • My first MOOC was in 2008. I participated in an online graduate course called Muvenation 2008. The course was organized and funded by the European Commission. The MOOC was a 6-month practical hands-on workshop for educators on how to create a learning environment in second life. The participants were supposed to be only from Europe, but the organizers decided to allow educators from outside of Europe to join, too. The organizers also limited the number of participants to under 100 because they were unable to cope with more. There were many challenges for both the facilitators and participants because of the large numbers. The course facilitators had to resort to a flexible attitude and make changes to what they had initially planned. This caused a great deal of frustrations for some of the facilitators who found it difficult to let go of control and pass it on to the participants. The participants were given a great deal of power in how the course developed. I think allowing the learner to be in charge of his or her learning is the key to the success of the MOOC and online learning. --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 14:42, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • My second MOOC was on WikiEducator but it was not called that, then. It was a workshop on facilitating Online Communities (FOC08) led by Leigh Blackwall. --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 04:42, 29 June 2011 (UTC) --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 04:44, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
  • The third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh MOOCs that I took were CCK08, CCK09, PLENK10, CCK11, MobiMOOC. --Dr. Nellie Deutsch 04:44, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Research & Articles on MOOCs

Antonio Fini (2009, November). The technological dimension of a massive open online course: The case of the CCK08 course tools. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(5), The Technological Dimension of a Massive Open Online Course: The Case of the CCK08 Course Tools,