Reflections on the eMOOCs Conference

This week I had the privilege of presenting at the #eMOOCs conference in Mons, Belgium. As I’m flying home reflecting on the experience I’m reminded of the power of social media. Many of the people that I had the chance to meet and spend time with were my networked connections or scholars I have read.

The keynotes from Dave Cormier and Sian Bayne were both very good. Dave gave a great overview of Rhizomatic Learning (see Inge’s post) and underpinned it with the shift from apprenticeship/mentorship to larger distributed models of learning like during the advent of the printing press and internet. These underlying changes have lent themselves to shifts in teaching philosophy. Sian presented the Teacherbot in #EDCMOOC (see Inge’s post) and opened our eyes to the idea of using bots in teaching and learning. She presented it in a way that helped me to see the potential for good.  Both of these talks were very good and left me wanting more conversations with both Dave and Sian.

In preparation for this conference, Maha Al-Freih, Robin Bartoletti and I submitted a paper which was included in the proceedings and chosen to be one of the five experience track papers to be published in a pre-conference MOOC on edX. The pre-conference MOOC was thought of as a flipped conference, where the participants would have watched the videos so they would come to the session with their questions. However, after careful consideration the eMOOC committee thought it would be best if we prepared a Pecha Kucha for the event which would give a high level overview of the paper and allow time for questions and answers. It was wildly successful and that was in part due to Inge deWaard being such a wonderful moderator!

In addition, Inge, Sian, and I connected with several other networked scholars via a Google Hangout. 

There were other impromptu things that happened on the fly too, you can read more here in Inge deWaard’s blog.

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