Friday, July 26, 2013

The CLMOOC Flood

Perhaps MOOC should be added to the list of synonyms for “flood.”  If you haven’t had the sensation recently of treading your way amidst a massive flow of tweets, that rush rhizomatic & not organized like a school of fish, or if you still want to catch a riptide of more tantalizing things-to-try than a too-brief-summer can hold, just tune in to the final week of the Connected Learning MOOC or even scan the Make Bank. (Also, see Kevin’s blog on the Make Bank.)

Flooding offers the rare attribute of discerning what comes to the top.  The test includes being able to hold my breath while an amazing display passes by with a forced opportunity of sensing the “right” ones.  Which of the treasures most resonate with my own being and particular context?  The strain might not be worth it except for my fascination with the quantum concept of timespacematter/ing and due to the exigence of affirming “local knowing/learning.”

Whether a MOOC can attune to the local gets featured in an exchange between Clay Shirky and Patrick Deneen.  Deneen casts a dim view of MOOCs, calling them the “Wal-Mart of higher education” in contrast with his preference for the farmers’ market that favors local knowledge and unique, situated identity.  Shirky also recognizes potential problems with MOOCs but concludes: “what happens now is largely in the hands of the people experimenting with the new tools, rather than defending themselves from them.”  I believe that the Connected Learning MOOC has made a bold exploration into the positive potential within our new address of www.

In my lurking (trolling? treading? sifting?) of the CLMOOC waters, I caught or was caught by (probably both) the popcorn remix.  It was like a gar, as I recall those boyhood days, exciting but on the scary side.  I’ve developed a caution when Chad puts up something as if it’s going to be easy to remix.  Apparently, I have an allergic reaction to coding.  So I resisted trying it out until +Scott Glass put up a compelling mix of music, art, and text.

Perhaps in a rhizomatic way this remix invitation collided with an intention to make a book trailer.  I’d seen both beginning teachers and fourth-graders produce quality work with iPad’s iMovie template. (For a 5 min intro, see: How to create trailers with iMovie on the iPad.)  About the same time, the postman delivered a long-awaited book.  My own production process, while stimulated by popcorn and the iMovie template, led me into the use of Camtasia, but I don’t think I would have made What’s the Most Beautiful Thing About without the #CLMOOC flood.