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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

WebMaker's Thimble - Week 2 of MOOC


Well as you may or may not know, I am now participating in #teachtheweb sponsored by Mozilla.org.  Week 2 has begun and I have found some interesting changes from my last MOOC, etmooc.  More about that later….Ok, This weeks assignment, to create a “webby”.  As put on the home page of #teachtheweb the goal was to: create a webpage or video using Thimble,Popcorn Maker or Xray.

Please view my very simple Thimble project here.

Good thing, my link was in my browser history as I couldn’t begin to tell you how one goes about finding their projects on Thimble. At first I thought this would be a great tool for teaching html but I find myself on the fence.  Here are a few of my issues and remember, I love to jump in and play and learn as I go so I created a "persona", required by Mozilla and off I went.

 1. Once I picked my template, I did not like the font. Nothing in the documentation to help you there, umm, where is the Q and A ?

2. I found myself using the html code I already had knowledge of in order to make some adjustments. This would be cumbersome for a newbie to coding, there is no way to find out how to do things your template does not allow, such as center, enter or remove a page break, change columns etc.

3. Once you sign in, I literally could not find my project.  There was nothing under my login name except the option to logout. I have left a screen shot below. I was surprised that not only could I not find my project, that meant I could not edit it nor do I have any html for embedding.Does it have that option?

On the plus side, using the templates provides does help a student learn html and some css as long as they are willing to read the comments thoroughly and be willing to do some googling for features, fonts, colors, headers.  I think that it is great that you can see the changes you make to the html and css directly on the create/edit page which does help the beginner a great deal.  I believe if you can immediately see your work it makes more sense and their I give Thimble huge kudos.It was great to be able to see how your changes affected your page in a dynamic creative environment.

On Moocing, I feel bad as I do not nearly have the time I had during etmooc.  I think it is funny that people are worried about due dates and such.

The MOOC experience is just that an experience and you will get highly stressed out if you look at all the posts and feel behind.  My advise, take it at your own speed, digest it, it's Ok, not to be right there with the tide, you will catch up and if not I am sure what you will find that what you have learned you have also digested, analyzed, created and shared.

The connectivist approach used in this type of MOOC allows for a NEED FOR TIME. You need to have and give the time to read other's blogs, look at their work, comment comment away and then find yourself amazed with all that you have learned when you do have the time to sit back and reflect and blog (hopefully).

As we move into week 2, connected learning, I urge you to look at Rhizomatic Learning by Dave Cormier. It is an amazing concept and to give you an idea I will quote Dave's Blog post

"The rhizome is a stem of plant, like hops, ginger or japanese bamboo, that helps the plant spread and reproduce. It responds and grows according to its environment, not straight upwards like a tree, but in a haphazard networked fashion.  As with the rhizome the rhizomatic learning experience is multiple, has no set beginning or end, – “a rhizome creates through the act of experimentation.”   The idea is to think of a classroom/community/network as an ecosystem in which each person is spreading heir own understanding with the pieces the available in that ecosystem. The public negotiation of that ‘acquisition’ (through content creation, sharing) provides a contextual curriculum to remix back into the existing research/thoughts/ideas in a given field. Their own rhizomatic learning experience becomes more curriculum for others."

Looking forward to week 2 and miss the online meetings.  They really help me to stay motivated and focused when I was in etmooc.

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