#clmooc and my summer learning begins

A colleague from online virtual communities encouraged me to participate in #clmooc. Learning at the speed of light! That’s been my mantra for the past few years and I realize that we have to make choices in where and how we learn because the options are increasing exponentially.  Our students will have an incredible number of learning opportunities to choose from in participatory digital culture.  So I begin my summer of learning by asking a few questions of myself.

Who will I learn from?
It can be serendipitous when we collide in online spaces. I often run into the same individuals in networked spaces (Youtube, Vimeo, twitter, virtual worlds, or others) because of shared interests. An example: I ran into Mal Burns, who lives in the UK, several times in virtual spaces, realized he followed me on youtube, and learned how to use scoop-it through his example.  We don’t live on the same continent but kept bumping into each other!  I believe that is an example of connected learning, as I have never met Mal Burns in the physical world. Identifying our personal interests is a good starting point.

How will I connect and collaborate?
Zoe (the colleague I mentioned earlier) suggested I meet with others in the virtual world of Second Life at the Community Virtual Library. As a digital archivist and museum curator in Hawaii, Zoe (Monika Talaroc) specializes in physical librarianship but also in virtual librarianship. Her goal for the #clmooc is to create a virtual archive of the Berlin Project (a role play simulation). I met another colleague today, Cynthia Davidson, who teaches writing at a university and shares similar goals for creating immersive learning environments through collaboration this summer.  Finding others and choosing collaborative tools is critical to learning in our networked global world.

Meeting colleagues virtually

Meeting colleagues virtually



Discussing the #clmooc

Discussing the #clmooc


What will I learn?


I really want to learn more about augmented reality. Perhaps I can use #clmooc to find a network that can teach me best educational uses.  I also want to share my knowledge and skills of virtual world learning with others.




What will I make?


As I brainstorm what I might make this summer, I want to branch out beyond my comfort zone. My initial ideas are: creating virtual books at the UW Island of Seasons (a metaphor of learning through the life cycle), working with Zoe to create a virtual exhibit, and collaborating with fellow #clmoocers as I peruse spaces I may not yet have encountered.


Summer time and the learning is easy!

4 Tips for Building Your PLN (from Howard Rheingold)

Online life has merged with physical life for most of us, according to sources like the PEW Internet Report. Learning how to avoid drowning in the information flood has been the focus of my blog for over six years. Currently, I am almost finished reading Howard Rheingold’s book  Net Smart: How to Thrive Online which may be considered old news with a copyright date of way back in 2012. (We seem to think anything written last week is out of date.) The book is powerfully packed with insight but written in a friendly inviting tone.
Rheingold illustrates the “networking” literacy skills every single of us must acquire and includes tips for building a personal learning network.

4 Tips for Building Your Personal Learning Network

1. Know the Territory
When you first enter an online community (twitter, Ning, Second Life, wiki, etc), take it slow and get a feel for the way members interact.
2. Assume Goodwill
Ask friendly questions if you encounter negativity and assume misinterpretations may arise due to lack of social cues in new media formats.
3. Jump in where you can add value
Participatory culture (example: Wikipedia) brings advantages to a community through collaboration. No single individual can learn or do everything, but collectively we accomplish a great deal. If each person contributes, even in a small way, the outcome can be significant.
4. Reciprocate
A willingness to help others builds trust, respect, and reputation.

Rheingold brings a positive, knowledgeable, authentic perspective on how to thrive in our changing online world.  


Rheingold, Howard. Net Smart: How to Thrive Online. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2012.