Goodbye, #etmooc

ETMOOC is finishing up next week, and I’m about to leave town and be very sleep deprived for the next 3-4 days or so, so this is kind of my last hurrah for ETMOOC. I was trying to think about how/why my experience in it has been so important, so much so that I’m very sad it’s nearly over.

Instead of writing my response to that, I decided to try my first vlog–as a final project for ETMOOC, something else I’ve never done before (though I did do a “true story of openness” for Alan Levine).

Not surprisingly, it’s probably too long–just like my blog posts, my articles, and my plans for class meetings.

And I had only a couple of hours today to get it done, so it’s not terribly polished. I have a lot to learn about video editing, such as how to not only edit out portions of the video but also the audio that went with them (I tried to get rid of some “ummm’s” and “so’s,” and the video got deleted but not the audio. Hmph.). And that handmade heart at the beginning and end? Yeah, that should have been a nice title for the video…didn’t have time to do anything but cut one out and write on it.

So this is my love letter to ETMOOC. So sad to see you go.

[P.S. Is it possible to change the “still” shots from videos (such as the one below) so they aren’t those horribly strange facial expressions that come up when you’re in the middle of saying something?]


  1. Christina

    I loved your vlog and your reflection on change. I agree there is something amazing about actually seeing a person beyond their academic life that draws you to connect with them. Have a fabulous time with your travels, and google+ me for a “coffee” date when you have time.

    1. Yes–it was the G+ hangout with several of us from etmooc that was part of my drive to create a vlog. I got such a better sense of you all through video/audio than just through text, and felt more of a connection. Would love to do that again!

  2. Christina, I thought this was wonderful! All the best things about etmooc and more, summed up brilliantly. (I did not think it was too long!) And I think you did a great job in creating the video too. Hard to believe it’s over and that our attitudes to open education and the tools to create and facilitate openness have changed in such a short time. Enjoy your trip, get some sleep and we’ll continue the conversation when you return.

    1. Yes, let’s definitely continue the conversation. I’m so completely and utterly sad that etmooc is finishing (as if you couldn’t tell from the video!), that I want to continue the connections as much as possible.

      1. Me too. It has what has made etmooc the best course I’ve taken in years! I honestly don’t know what I’ll do next week when it is over (though there are so many posts I didn’t read because there was so much information- maybe I’ll start reading the ones I missed!) There will be a tremendous hole in my life when it is done. I also worry that tools like twitter will fall by the wayside when I’m not producing/thinking/sharing ideas. ( I do hope not!)

        How’s South Africa?

        1. I hope that Twitter and other communication tools won’t fall by the wayside; I don’t think so with me, with Twitter at least. I’ve found it really helpful for sharing resources and for connecting with people. I can’t see myself stopping that, though once I start teaching again (in September) I won’t have time to do as much of that.

          South Africa (Cape Town) is gorgeous–the mountains, the water, the trees…really beautiful. Finally feeling a bit human again after a very long flight & bad jet lag!

        2. I sincerely hope that Twitter doesn’t fall by the wayside; I’ve found it so helpful for sharing resources and for connecting that I don’t expect I will stop using it. Though, when I start teaching again (in September) my use will fall dramatically, unfortunately.

          Cape Town is gorgeous–beautiful mountains, water and more. I keep seeing signs telling me to watch out for baboons, but so far have seen none except in an animal reserve. Been enjoying great S. African wine!

  3. Christina: I love your vlog. I don’t think I have the courage to do one…thought about it as my goodbye too, but yours is a great model. Maybe sometime after ETMOOC . Look forward to connecting again. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I found this on twitter. The journey and transformation seems amazing!


  5. “Discussing things together as opposed to just listening” ~ love it. We’ve all learned so much, haven’t we? I wonder how this experience will change the way we teach & share information with our students. How will we guide & instruct based on their involvement/investment in their educational experience?

    1. Excellent question, Colleen! I do hope it changes my teaching, though sometimes I just get so busy with a teaching schedule that I go back to my old ways because I don’t have time to think about doing anything else. So planning ahead and focusing consciously on what worked for me in ETMOOC is crucial. I am hoping, as discussed in a previous blog post (, to open up one of my on-campus courses in a connectivist-MOOC-type of way at some point in the future. But beyond that kind of big change, what other changes might be made? Taking advantage of the value of peers for support/advice/learning is, I think, one of the key takeaways for me. Acting as a facilitator that stands more to the side rather than a leader in front, in a class, could work well–depending on how one structures the course so that peers feel comfortable and are able to share the teaching of the course. That’s probably the hardest part, and something I need to think about further. Thanks for encouraging me to do so!

  6. Hi Christina,
    Greetings from Melbourne, Australia. I thoroughly enjoyed your vlog. Such a brave move and you did an excellent job. I didn’t know what #etmooc was ( embarrassing to admit) but it was obviously transformative for you.
    I am a Visual Arts teacher and am passionate about keeping a blog ( one of only two in my school), using ICT with my students and connecting with teachers across the World, providing an extensive PLN. I am usually just a regular observer, a very keen one who would someday like to take the plunge as you have and communicate more closely with other educators globally.
    Enjoy the remainder of your Sabbatical,
    Best Regards,
    Yvonne Osborn.

    1. Hi Yvonne:

      No problem not knowing what ETMOOC is/was…I only found out about it through someone I happened to follow on Twitter, and otherwise would have had no idea! I completely agree with the value of having a blog and developing a PLN, and ETMOOC ended up being really instrumental in my efforts on both counts. I encourage you to take the plunge when you have the time to participate in a connectivist MOOC! I posted these links to someone else’s comment, but will put them here too–some lists of connectivist MOOCs. These should be updated as time goes on, so keep looking if you’re interested!

      And I am LOVING Melbourne on sabbatical! Wish I could stay more than a year…

  7. Christina,
    What a great first vlog! I’m inspired by you, and I’m thinking I might make one as well. I agree with you, there is a sense of a person that you don’t get with text. I’m also really interested in what you said about researching the effectiveness of connectivist MOOCs. For me, this style of learning easily fits into my life. The motivation to finish a MOOC is challenging because of the lack of accountability (grades, tuition cost, etc) but I followed up on a lot what the class focused on by reading blogs, tweets, and the Diigo updates. Motivation is something I’m interested in with MOOCs and education in general. Lots to consider! I’ll follow your blog and see what you’re up to. Enjoy your trip!

    1. Thanks, Alyson: I’m surprised but pleased to be a source of inspiration! I would post my conference proposal for researching the effectiveness of a cMOOC, except it’s supposed to be blind-reviewed and having it online would allow people to find it and discover that I’m the source. I was going to post it to my blog, but decided not to for that reason. After the decisions have been made for the conference, I’ll post it. And if it’s accepted, I’ll post my presentation notes as well.

      Motivation is an extremely important consideration, though one of the things I really loved about ETMOOC is that there was no pressure to complete everything, or to finish it. One could dip in and out, as desired. That makes researching cMOOCs challenging, but it makes motivation easy: one drives one’s learning through the motivations one already has.

      However, as discussed earlier on this blog, that can also mean that people don’t go far beyond what they’re already interested in, and thus may not expand or transform their beliefs and values very much, as they might if pushed harder to do things they’re not already interested in/motivated to do. If you’re interested in that discussion, at least part of it can be found here).

  8. Hi Christina, I really liked your vlog and love that you had a go at one, something I haven’t been brave enough to do yet but you just might have inspired me to go for it. I agree that the whole #Etmooc experience has been life changing. I have tried lots of things because of etmooc and I haven’t even been able to participate in lots of the collaborate sessions but have watched the recordings. I am quite Twitter obsessed and am constantly amazed at how much I learn through twitter. What did I do before I had a Twitter account? I have no idea but I feel like I was living in a cave. Enjoy your trip away. Look forward to some holiday tweets.

    1. Hi Carolyn: You should definitely try a vlog! I was apprehensive, but decided I’d better just get over that by doing it. Next time I won’t worry about it so much. I decided that the benefits outweighed my own dislike of watching myself on video (and I still can’t really watch it; only did as much as necessary to edit/add titles, etc.). One of the many great things about ETMOOC for me, as well, was being inspired by others to try new things. Ben Wilkoff, Joe Dillon and others were doing vlogs, and they made me realize I didn’t have to do anything terribly fancy with a vlog.

      And I completely agree about Twitter: wow, being more active on Twitter has really added to my learning. Just a few months ago I hardly used it; now I use it every day!

      Okay, holiday tweets coming up! I won’t bore everyone with too many, though.

  9. Hi Christina,
    I’ve enjoyed participating in ETMOOC and learning with you all these weeks, though many times it has been through the archives, which have been a wonderful resource for when I couldn’t participate in real-time. Thanks for pushing my thinking and good luck with the conference proposal on cMOOCs.

    1. Thanks, Debbie! I had to do about half of the presentations through the archives, which I felt was not quite as good because I really love participating in the chats synchronously. But at least the archives were available for people during the course, and even afterwards. Thanks for being part of this great community, and I look forward to continuing to connect via Twitter!

  10. Christina:

    You rock! It was so great to just sit and listen to you, and see you, and nod my head in agreement. I love the fact that #etmooc helped you discover Twitter, and make great connections. I agree with the seeing and hearing thing – it’s one of the things I struggled with a bit in the webinars, because I kept wanting to shout at people to pick up the mike, so I could actually “hear” their voices….:)

    The vlog was not too long – you said what you needed to say – and as you do do more of them, you’ll know when they need to be longer and when they need to be shorter – remember that you’re a self- confessed long blog-post writer, too.

    Thank you for the gifts you brought to the #etmooc. Many of the ideas/perspectives you shared resonated with me. Hope we can keep the connection going. There is a last blog post coming. (Easter weekend’s a little crazy in my world, as I’m married to an Anglican priest), including a video bit (not quite a vlog but getting there).

    1. Hi Lisa: I’m glad you thought the vlog was just right…you’re right that as I do more of these I’ll get the feel for it. And yes, it’s not surprising it was long, given the length of my usual blog posts! I would love to keep the connection going with you, and I look forward to your last blog post (with a video). I can see how Easter weekend would be busy. I’m in South Africa at the moment, with on and off wifi access, so I’m amazed I even got to your comment this quickly. Will look for your blog posts on Twitter!

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