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  • Writer's pictureAmy Burvall

Anticipating Connected Courses “Happenings”


When I was hangin’ with Alec Couros (@courosa) this summer at BLC14 in Boston I was thrilled to hear about this “Connected Courses” MOOC with an all star cast (Michael Wesch, Helen Keegan, Mimi Ito, to name a few and …wait for it…the THREE MAGI : Alan Levine (@cogdog), Jim Goom (@jimgroom) , and Howard Rheingold (@hrheingold).

I’ve been dabbling for years, as a high school teacher, to not only develop a truly connected course (Howard interviewed me about that this year), but really want to know more of the nuts and bolts. I totally embrace the “control and manage your digital presence” ethos articulated so often by the #ds106 crew as well as the #showyourwork movement epitomized in #ds106 but made uber popular this year with the release of Austin Kleon’s book of the same title.

I really need and desire to know ore of the mechanics of crafting a really relevant, connected course and helping students become empowered to cultivate their digital presence. Right now I am particularly interested in Higher ED (even though I currently teach Juniors and Seniors in high school) and hope to get some good ideas for a keynote I’m doing in December.

In the meantime, I’ve watched the (very entertaining!!!) pre-show by “Click”, “Link”, and “Embed” (that still sounds naughty)…and did some sketches with my favourite app Paper by 53.


Jim describes what a “Connected Course REALLY means…


Jim reiterates that it’s more than a mere broadcasting system….it’s all about empowering students to develop and manage their own digital presence in a space they call their own.


I hope Jim doesn’t mind but since I like to simplify everything into alliterated soundbites I call it “Self Over System”


Jim references a keynote Alan did a while back called “Being There” (nice film reference!)…the question was posed how we build trust in a course like this…the key, Jim says is simply being human and reaching out by responding to blog posts and tweets, etc.


Alana reminds us it’s OK to mess up and mess up publicly at that – he calls it, endearingly, “futzing”


Then Howard chimes in…with OMG! sheer brilliant eloquence in a metaphorical “learning from being on / falling off/ getting back on the EDGE”


Both Howard and Alan remind us that we can learn so much from our students. We need to give up some (or most!) of that perceived power and privilege and really open up to them…Alan says his mantra is “Break All My Rules”. A lesson in humility for all..

Finally, in the spirit of connectedness I shared these sketches on Twitter and tagged the boys …(attribution is paramount)…Was so flattered to see these tweets:

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So of course I drew me, working on a pink caddy 🙂


I’m a busy girl but can’t wait for this course!!!

#austinkleon #ccourses #mooc #blc14 #alanlevine #ds106 #jimgroom #howardrheingold

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