Thursday, 19 November 2015

Etmooc Third Anniversary Challenge Part 2

Okay, I love Etmooc and how it continues to morph and change. Just read a post from Alan Levine (two posts actually) and as usual they were a hoot! The CMOOC that wouldn't die! and the accompanying poster looking at the long life of Etmooc. Well, there is a reason for that and today's nominee is one of those reasons.

Rhonda Jessen has influenced my thinking, kept me engaged (even when I want to curl up under a blanket and read rather than post) and is one of the founders of Post Etmooc, a fellow zombie and a DS106 cooking partner.

Little did I know when I started Etmooc, that I would find a great educator to share the experience of immersing myself in multiple online communities. Sometimes I think that is the secret to collaborative learning; that of finding not necessarily like minded people, but people who are willing and giving of themselves, to share an exploratory journey fearlessly. Three years later I know I can send an email and ask, "Do you have time to do a radio show?" "Feel like being a zombie this weekend?" or a "I am swamped and can't make it!" and know that I will get an encouraging response. This has been especially important this year as I have not been engaged online as much as in the past. Knowing that I can still reach out, even after a few months of no contact, allows me to be present fully in both the physical and digital space without it impacting negatively on each other, without stressing about performance and participation. Once again, it comes down to remaining engaged positively and keeping a good life balance.

Thank you Rhonda for that positive engagement!

Rhonda Jessen in Sydney, Australia

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Etmooc Third Anniversary Challenge Part 1

So Susan has sent us all a challenge.

My first selection is Alan Levine and his post All A-mazing.

Why this post and this Etmoocer?

First because this post speaks to me about the importance, not just of elementary teachers and the first years at school, but the power of setting goals for students and demonstrating that you, as a teacher, believe that every student can succeed and meet goals with support, encouragement and love. I truly believe that this magic formula works. I saw it happen in the schools I taught in. I also saw when it didn't happen, when teachers didn't embrace the joy of learning, or as the blog mentions, when teachers have discouraging, self-defeating outlooks about their students.

Students all know when you don't think much of them.

Second, Alan Levine was a presenter in Etmooc and introduced us all to DS106. I'd like to say that I DS106 everyday (I don't, wish I did!) but I value the time I do spend on any project with fellow DS106ers, particularly radio projects! He has been generous with his time to his students and fellow DS106ers and is a living, breathing embodiment of all of the great qualities a teacher should have. Thank you Alan.

Finally, this post struck a chord with me because I didn't have a Miss Apple Daisy of a teacher for Grade 1, in fact I had one of the discouraging types of teachers. I never have forgotten her name. And maybe it is time I say "thank you" to Mrs. Lynch because I have made sure throughout my teaching career (and all of its twists and turns) that I teach in a positive, uplifting manner and respect my students and their learning.