Reflecting on #CLMOOC 2015

All, CLMOOC, Reflections

As our fearless leaders noted in the final call for reflections, the CLMOOC experience never ends. I know it will reverberate across my teaching and conversations about teaching throughout the coming months until it is time to CLMOOC again!

This was my second year participating in CLMOOC and I cannot recommend the experience enough. There is something about playing with friends (both new and old) to enhance your growth and development. I try to make all the learning experiences I lead more fun as a result. Even if your summers are busy, you should definitely join the fun as much as you can. Last year I couldn’t participate fully and I still gained a lot from the experience. However, if you can join in from start to finish, as I was able to do this summer, your experience will be amazing. Guaranteed or your money back!

I have decided that my reflection will come in two parts. This post will focus on my personal experiences and makes and my next post will be more of a blog walk tying in the reflections of those whose makes impacted my experience. I hope that those on the fence about the benefits (or purpose) of participating in CLMOOC will count up the blog posts and makes I got out of the experience!

The first make cycle focused on identity and (un)introductions. I struggled with some important questions that we all need to address, especially in our classrooms, in my post “Identity and the Unintroduction.” These ideas include: How do you identify yourself – to your colleagues, to your students, to your playmates? How do you mediate these representations? Do you talk about this mediation with your students?

My Notable Notes for that week focused on “Identity (Re)Mediated” and included links to several interesting makes and reflections on the make cycle.

I struggled a bit with this make cycle as I tried to truly represent myself. I am now revisiting these ideas again as I prepare for the Fall Semester and decide how I will introduce myself to my students and help them build community – beginning of course with introductions. After all, as I reflect in Identity (Re)Mediated, the veracity of introductions and invitations is always questionable because we have remediated ourselves to suit our context and comfort level.

The second made cycle focused on the different media we choose to use for our communication. I had a bit of fun using curation tools to create found poems although I struggled quite a bit to mediate the “I Am From” poem I created for the first make cycle. You can read more about my adventures in (re)mediation in my blog post: (Re)Mediating Who We Are and What We Do. I enjoyed this make cycle a lot and know it will influence some of the work my students do this fall. As I noted in my blog post, “… there are many exciting benefits to re(media)tion … Thinking about our texts with and through different lenses … Playing with different tools … the idea that some projects require some (maybe a lot) of trial and error.”

My Notable Notes for this make cycle was a remediation blog walk where I collected makes and reflections that spoke to me in the hope that “that sharing these struggles, these reflections, and these makes will inspire more educators, parents, and makers to try something new and risk failure for the sake of learning and creating.”

Our third make cycle focused on games and game design and what happens when we “play” with (or against) the rules. I fumbled around with a couple of different ideas that I know will show up in my classes this Fall. Read more about my experience in my post “Learning as an Interactive Experience.”

My Notable Notes post for this cycle included a roundup of some of my favorite #CLMOOC Games created during the cycle.

The fourth make cycle challenged us to think about systems and to study the systems we see in our lives. I focused on my classroom system and challenged others to think about “the benefits and drawbacks of a systems approach to teaching and learning,” but other CLMOOC participants pushed us to be more creative and even rebellious which led me to (re)mediate my notable notes about systems and to question (and perhaps challenge) some of the systems in my life.

The fifth make cycle really challenged me to think about stories and spaces and the ways that our spaces (in all forms) influence our stories. Would we be who we are without our spaces? An important question for writers, learners, and teachers. My Notable Notes continued my own musings about space and stories and extended the reflection to include some interesting ideas I came across that week – both in and out of the CLMOOC community.

The sixth (and final) make cycle focused on curation and the role it plays in our personal and professional lives – as well as the ways that curation can offer a new perspective. Notable notes shared some interesting ideas about curation as orientation and visualization.

And thus ends my official #CLMOOC experience but the simple act of creating this reflection has reminded me of ideas that I can incorporate into my classes and inspired some new ones as well. Ultimately, my two favorite things about CLMOOC were the makes and the people. While I often struggled with my makes and they often did not live up to my vision, there is something fun and exciting about creating something new and different – taking on a new challenge. This process can be painful, but my pain was eased by the shared pain, inspiration, and encouragement of the CLMOOC community. I want all my classes to include those elements – creation and community.

What about you? What was your favorite part of the CLMOOC experience or what will inspire you to participate in CLMOOC next year?


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