Nearly the end of Week 3, it has been a full-on week at work and I am struggling to marshall my thoughts. I have managed to snatch ten minutes here and there to watch the videos for this week and scan the readings at a very superficial level. I really wanted to try to create a photo for the Flickr project but just haven’t had the time to be creative. Never mind, I will try to catch up a little in the next couple of days.
It has been interesting watching the dynamics of the interchanges in the discussions and Twitter chat; I have tried to avoid Facebook as I felt a need to filter so as not to be overwhelmed. It seems to me, as a newcomer, that some people have made MOOCs their home and are involved in several of them all at once. They have already forged tight knit friendship groups, comment on each others blogs and engage in chat on Twitter in quite an intimate manner. Others may only have “met” since the beginning of this course but they connected early on and formed groups to blog together. Others, like me, maybe observers, hovering not quite at the edge but gaining confidence, commenting occasionally, following blogs and feeling empowered when I get a notification that someone has “liked” my blog or comment, or even more exciting when there is a comment, a “follow” or a pingback!
It is interesting in the context of our discussions around humanism, the theme of disconnection, and the impersonal aspect of technology, the relationships that have formed. It is highly likely that if these people had met “face to face”, on the street, in a university seminar, at a sports club, they would have formed the same bonds of friendship. As human beings we are drawn to people who have similar ideas to us, similar likes, interests, dislikes be that online or in the “real” world. I hesitate to use the phrase “real world” because the online world is becoming so much part of our everyday experiences now that it is essentially the “real world”. The blurring of the lines is ever more blurry.
So, I need to maintain the momentum I had in the first two weeks; I have so many half-formed ideas whizzing round my head that I really need some time out to think them through. I have had moments of doubt and feelings of inadequacy when I read some of the more esoteric, very academic comments made on the blogs and discussion boards; how can my thoughts possibly have any meaning or value? But I also read lots of posts that concur with my ideas and reactions to the videos and I feel affirmed and more confident about that. So, I will bumble along in my own way, reading, digesting, watching and occasionally throwing my twopenn’orth in.