I became interested in joining Blended Schools Network MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) for two reasons. One was that it sounded like a cool thing to try out in an area I already had some background knowledge – it was more within my realm than one of those MIT MOOCs – and it should be full of “my people.” Second I know BSN from the content writing tool/software they use, SoftChalk. My district has recently purchased a private cloud from SoftChalk as well.
I wanted to journal my experiences, thoughts, feedback in one place for future or shared reflection.
I signed up for this MOOC as soon as I heard about it and scoped out the calendar coincided with our districts last weeks of school. In my position within the Tech Department as an eLearning Specialist I felt it was within the scope of my work to: have experience within a MOOC with an eye toward future building/supporting within the district, find any information on SoftChalk/Blended Learning which could inform my job, and add to my PLN.
Registration was smooth, when the first week came around I was a little confused on how to actually get to the content. I followed the link in my welcome/registration email, but it did not lead to the content. Luckily the teachers had contact information and I tweeted an instructor and he tweeted me the Google+ link. While I thought I had read something about content being shared via G+ I don’t think I realized the whole thin was going to be there. Of course, I had some network issues and the network engineers had to unblock it. I am not sure how a teacher in our district could have managed that. I assume they would have just completed it from home not knowing how to go about getting it unblocked in time.
Within the course I was at first a little leery as I noticed my first reading assignment was produced by Blackboard, and in 2009. I felt goo about a couple of the districts mentioned in the piece and Googled them to check on the mentioned administrators credentials. I felt better about the document and the two introductory videos by instructors when I turned the page to the Curate: Contributions from Course Participants section. Ahh, the “good” stuff. I have been clicking/reading happily since yesterday. Let’s just say I am wearing out my Delicious Bookmarklet, check out my account (@Pen63).
I want to also point out that as the course authors update this in SoftChalk, the date changes in the bottom right corner – nice SC feature, eh? As a participant I value the most current content and think this a great step towards transparency in our classrooms!
My contribution to the course is educause – they are such a trusted source for me on all things education – https://t.co/k0pu4Mx0bF . And I would also add University of Central Florida’s Blended Learning Toolkit – https://blended.online.ucf.edu/blendkit-course-diy-project-tasks/ they seem to be a higher ed leader and much of their work can be adopted to K12!