How are you? It’s about about three weeks now since you were launched, and I was there right at the start. Actually, I was there right before the start, too, helping to plant some of the seeds and hoping you would find some roots. You have! It’s been pretty amazing to watch you grow as more and more people add ideas and connections. Today is Friday, which is a Find Friday idea that Anna came up with to connect those of us in you with more of us in you — sort of like a Spider’s Web of connective threads. Today, Anna asks us to consider asking some questions about you, and I figured, who better to ask, MOOC my friend, than you?
So, Mooc, my friend, I have a few points of inquiry that are on my mind:
- Is there demographic diversity in the MOOC? It may be my own impressions, but participants seem to be mostly white Americans. This is a topic that I wonder about as a facilitator of you, most of all, because it forces us to examine our invitational messages, our openness, and our outreach into diverse communities. We want more voices and more perspectives. This question does not mean what you are is not rich with experience and with creativity because, well, just take a look, and you’ll see that it is. It’s amazing. Still, how can/could we have expanded the possibilities even further and could we have done more to help bring in more cultural diversity, MOOC?
- Why are you so Google Plus-centric? I have to admit, MOOC, that being part of you and the Teach the Web MOOC has brought me new appreciation for Google Plus as a place for an online community. I wasn’t a huge user before, but I am now. There’s a lot to like. Still, given that “open” is your middle name, we were hoping that more folks would find other spaces in which to collaborate and reflect. Twitter is your distant cousin, and blogs seem a far third. Is there a fourth space that people are using? (Is anyone using Facebook for you, MOOC?)
- Is it OK that much of the activity seems chaotic? I suspect you don’t mind, MOOC, since you thrive on decentralized activities but I wonder if some people are turned off by the way each Make Cycle unfolds in a flurry of activity? While we try to make clear that people can enter at any time, I wonder if that is the message newcomers get from the activity. MOOC, if you were to stumble upon yourself right now — in the third Make Cycle — what would you think? Would you feel invited to participate?
- How can we better encourage folks to break off into smaller, interest-driven groups? We seem to cluster around each other in large groups, in a positive way, and yet, one of the hopes, MOOC, is that folks would begin to see others with similar passions and similar interests, and create pathways to connect. Is there something more we can do/should have done to set the stage for that kind of small group setting?
- What will happen, MOOC, when the last Make Cycle comes to a close in early August? Will the energy of you keep the ideas alive so that the “making” and “connecting” will filter into classroom experiences? Ultimately, that’s why we put you in motion, MOOC, for people this summer. First, to give folks time to play. Second, to encourage all of us to consider implications for learning environments.
So, MOOC, there you are — a few questions on my mind. Be sure to write back, won’t you?
Until I hear from you, happy making and joyful connecting, and always remain open and collaborative in spirit and in deeds!
Peace (in questions),
PS — the image above was created with the Newspaper Clipping site. Give it a try, MOOC, and make your own news.