October 10, 2013
The Making Learning Connected MOOC (clmooc) that happened this summer was a great experience for me and for many others. I’m remembering it now during Connected Learning Month (#ce13) because being connected as a learner and maker is not just something that just happens during one month, but is something that happens year round, and #clmooc was a great experience of connection.
This past summer, I came into #clmooc as an avid maker. My love of digital tools has led me to many types of digital making. Living in an extremely rural place, ‘making’ is a necessity: we have built our own house, keep a large garden, can jams and vegetables, make our own bread, and make many other things because it is easier and more satisfying than buying them. And of course, I am a writer.
Beyond the satisfaction of making though, #clmooc taught me many things as a connected educator. First and foremost, it reinforced for me the value of teachers as makers. Cultivating a maker spirit in education is a part of connected learning – developing a production-centered learning environment has many benefits for teachers and learners. And there is no better way to embrace this spirit than to be a maker yourself. I saw that while everyone doesn’t have the opportunity to attend a maker faire, everyone can participate in the maker culture through online communities like #clmooc.
The success of #clmooc inspired me to adapt the content for a mini-course I am creating as a part of the HP Catalyst Academy. Starting on Nov. 4, I’ll be facilitating Make/Hack/Play Together. This will be a short 3-week introduction to the maker movement for educators. Participants will be able to choose from a wide variety of real-world and digital projects to make. Whether you are looking for a way to extend your Connected Educator Month experience, an opportunity to dive into the maker movement in education, or an opportunity to re-engage the maker you found during #clmooc, this mini-course welcomes you.