Teaching, Learning & Technology
Sharing best practices from faculty around the world who are using technology to transform teaching and learning.

My First MOOC

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I've just signed up to participate in my first Massively Open Online Course (MOOC). It's free and runs from Sept 8-30th. The focus of "MobiMOOC" is Mobile Learning, and hundreds of educators from around the world are already "enrolled". Of course there's no credit, and all the "instructors" are educator volunteers.


The breadth of expertise is stunning. So while it's free and promises to be informative, it's also frightening. Will I really be able to participate in a meaningful way with a thousand people by my side? Or is it like Twitter - jump in and participate as much as you can? I'm particularly interested to see understand what a MOOC experience can be like, especially how it might apply to Teacher Professional Learning. 



Interested in Mobile Learning? Want to learn from educators around the world? Want to stretch your imagination with a new approach to online learning? If so, I invite you read more about it below - and consider joining me for the adventure!










Jim Vanides, B.S.M.E, M.Ed.
Global Education Program Manager
Sustainability & Social Innovation

Follow me on Twitter @jgvanides




"MobiMOOC course is a free, open, online course that is organized by Inge Ignatia de Waard (so no institutional affiliation), and features wonderful, mobile learning facilitators who kindly accepted to share their knowledge with anyone interested in the subject of mLearning..." (from http://mobimooc.wikispaces.com/a+MobiMOOC+hello%21).



(also, from the MobiMOOC google group):


In 2011 the first MobiMOOC ran from April - May 2011. Now it is time for the second course, feel free to put it in your agenda!

This is the first mail to get the word of mouth going. So thank you for joining the MobiMOOC2012 group so early already!

The second MobiMOOC will run from 8 – 30 September 2012. The format is slightly changed from the first MobiMOOC: more participation in subject choice, tree architecture, three weeks to cover all, and more closely linked to the Open Educational Resources (OER) idea in that the interactions will become durable (well in as far as technology has a lasting lifespan in this era (-;

MobiMOOC2012 will only have 4 fixed topics: mLearning introduction, mLearning project planning, mLearning in global contexts and mLearning curriculum implementation, the 6 other subjects will be chosen by YOU. 

Course name and description: MobiMOOC is a Massive, Open Online Course (MOOC) with a focus on learning with mobile devices (mLearning). The course will look at specific fields where mobile devices can be used and are used to increase learning and training. As the course is a MOOC, the main interaction will be provided by the participants, but guides on the side will be provided for each specific topic (guides on the side = facilitators but who do not preach, yet provide options and insights and learn from all the other participants as well – just like any wonderful expert would do).
Course start: Saturday 8 September 2012.
Course subjects: 4 fixed subjects, 6 topics chosen by all of you. You can choose your preference(s) here. Feel free to choose more than one as the top 6 topics will be part of MobiMOOC2012.
Course fee: the course is free for anyone to join and interact.

What is a MOOC?
A MOOC is a course which is open to all interested people, which is located in the Cloud (online) and where the learning interactions are wide open to all participants (viewable for those who participate and those who just want to read up on a subject). In this case it is a MobiMOOC, a course with focusing on mobile learning topics.

How are the topics
 chosen and then picked up? 
A list of possible subjects are provided and until the end of May anyone can vote on which subject they would like to see covered during MobiMOOC. The top 6 topics will be picked up as being part of the course and subject matter experts will be asked to guide the MobiMOOC participants through that specific topic. Can’t wait to choose your favorite mLearning topics? Get over here and choose your favorites!

What is meant by the (peace) tree architecture?
A tree architecture is a course format that provides 1 topic in the first week, three in the second and more (six) in the third or later weeks. A bit like the branches of a tree, where there is a central stem (= mLearning) and different branches emerge into thinner, more specialized topics. The idea of the name came to me because I truly belief in the tree of life peace symbol. And I hope that open education and critical thinking will move all of us towards a more humane, peaceful world.

When will the 6 other topics be known: by June 2012 the topics will be known, but depending on the quest for guides on the side, the facilitator names might be known a bit later.
Will there be a syllabus? A short syllabus will be provided online, but if all goes well, a more in-depth syllabus will also be provided (more news on this later).

Choose the topics now! Via this form.
The topics to choose from in the online form are (alphabetical order):

  • Activism: social change with mobile devices
  • Ageless: mLearning initiatives of people above 65
  • Augmented learning with mobile devices
  • Corporate mLearning
  • Development: mLearning in development countries (ICT4D or m4D)
  • Disabilities: mLearning for people with disabilities
  • Games and mLearning
  • Gender: empowerment through mLearning
  • Global mLearning issues
  • Health: mobile devices in health
  • Hobby: getting mobile with your private mLearning ideas
  • Innovative edge: mLearning innovation at the edge
  • k12: mLearning from kindergarten to k12
  • Libraries: mLearning in libraries (getting libraries mobile enhanced)
  • Museums: mLearning in museums, galleries, art
  • Research: the status of mLearning research
  • Security: build safe mLearning
  • Tools: a collaborative view at mLearning tools, sharing experiences
  • Train the trainer: getting teachers to teach mLearning
  • Youth: young people and their mobile use – given by -18 facilitator



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About the Author
Jim Vanides is responsible for the vision, strategy, design, and implementation of education technology innovation initiatives. His focus is...
About the Author(s)
  • A former K-12 district administrator and adjunct professor of communication, Elliott has won over 60 state and national awards in school public relations, is a past columnist for Electronic School, School Administrator and American School Boards Journal, and has been interviewed for many leading educational publications. Recently, Elliott helped developed models for personal learning, which in testing increased successful completion of algebra from 33% to 71% versus traditional classroom instruction. His work is featured by HP at www.hp.com/makeitmatter
  • I am part of the HP Calculator team, working on the HP Prime graphing calculator. I taught mathematics for 20 years and have extensive experience in the professional development of teachers of mathematics. My area of interest is mathematics education; specifically, how technology affects the teaching and learning of mathematics.
  • Jim Vanides is responsible for the vision, strategy, design, and implementation of education technology innovation initiatives. His focus is the effective use of technology to create powerful learning experiences that help students around the world succeed. He has been instrumental in launching over 1200 primary, secondary, and higher education projects in 41 countries, including the HP Catalyst Initiative - a 15-country network of 60+ education organizations exploring innovations in STEM(+) learning and teaching. In addition to his work at HP, Jim teaches an online course for Montana State University on the Science of Sound, a masters-level, conceptual physics course for teachers in grades 5 through 8. Jim’s past work at HP has included engineering design, engineering management, and program management in R&D, Manufacturing, and Business Development. He holds a BS in Engineering and a MA in Education, both from Stanford University.
  • Mike is a passionate education advocate dedicated to helping schools design, build and deliver solutions that solve the complex instructional challenges that face K12 leaders every day. Mike is interested in working with individuals and organizations that share the same level of commitment to improving Instructional outcomes with and through the use of technology

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