This week has been such fun! I have connected with so many different people on the course in such a variety of ways. See if you can match the images below  with whom I interacted. Each picture is a snippet of Anne’s, Stuart’s, Linzi’s and Eli’s lives that I wouldn’t necessarily have found out about had we stayed in the ‘educational spaces’ of EDC.

It started out with Stuart; we had a productive Skype chat to compare notes about what we had found doing the same MOOC. It was interesting see how he approached things so differently to how I did. As we chatted I noticed that the conversation changed from the academic to something much more like the banter that exists with my colleagues at work.

I had an interesting tweet exchange with Eli which made me question whether MOOCs are still massive and thanks to connecting with Stuart I know how massive the Internet of Things MOOC actually is.

Linzi proposed a Skype chat on Twitter, which Eli, Stuart and I signed up for. This gave us an opportunity to catch up in a less formal environment than we have before. We were able to compare notes about our musings on Education and Digital Culture and the MOOCs we are doing. Conversation flowed much more easily than it did in the Hangout tutorial, I think we agreed that it is more stilted in the Hangout because we are self-conscious of making a mistake in front of everyone and looking unprepared or silly. We could relax more. It was good to hear that others also felt ‘naked’, or rather awkward and embarrassed, about having their assessed work and feedback available for all to see.

Anne and I had a chat on our WhatsApp group while we were reading the comments of our MOOC together. This was so helpful and caused us to pick out exact exchanges that have been useful when formulating our ideas. Anne also found a WhatsApp MOOC group for two-hundred-and-fifty students on IoT.

It seems these secret groups are a thing in MOOCs, as Eli shared that she was invited to join a ‘secret’ Facebook group. I thought having a WhatsApp group was intriguing as I would classify this as private space. Anne and I continued our discussion via a WhatsApp phone call on Friday, providing support and chatter about our plans for our studies.

Tweet: Doteveryone

I was introduced to Dr Rachel Coldicutt at the LSE Literary Festival. She is a creator of digital content and she has worked in a number of educational contexts. She has created Doteveryone to try and make digital life more accessible to those who find it difficult.


Tweet: LSE Literary Festival

I was fortunate enough to attend a couple of panels at the London School of Economics Literary Festival. While the Growing up online: A digital revolution?’ was interesting, there was nothing I hadn’t heard or considered before. However, it was an entirely female panel, something I rarely see at events involving technology. It did introduce me to a few interesting people I would not have known about; one of them is Emma Gannon, a blogger, writer and influencer. Her book CTRL ALT DELETE: How I Grew Up Online documents her journey through digital culture.


Tweet: Twitter in MOOCs

I found this blog post through Renée Furner because I was really struggling to find any participant engagement outside of the MOOC I am doing. I eventually found the paper the blog is based on . It made me wonder why Twitter isn’t being used more in MOOCs since I’m finding it increasingly useful to engage with the MSCEDC community.

From this tweet I had and interesting conversation with Philip Downey about this very topic.

Building communities

Twitter is restrictive when trying to convey meaning so we moved our conversation into direct messaging and outside of the public sphere.

Connecting in private

When I consider that it has taken about six weeks for me to connect with, and feel like I’m part of a community, I realise why Twitter may not be useful for connecting in MOOCs. It takes time to build relationships and see how we might be able to interact with others both within and out of an educational context. I suspect interaction on Twitter might not be successful because MOOCs simply don’t run long enough to build those relationships.