Week one Essential Question:
What are the characteristics I will need to be successful in this MOOC?
The characteristics of an experienced mountain climber hauling skis up a steep scree slope during the three months of bad skiing are similar to what is needed to be successful in the Differentiating the Classroom Environment through Technology MOOC (#diffimooc). The skier’s target is to reach the pinnacle of a glacier in summer. First, at the trail head, the survival supplies are packed: food, water, first aid (sun screen too!). Then, tools necessary to reach the goal: skis, poles, ski boots. Finally, documentation necessities are brought along: friends, cellphone/camera. Dressed in hiking boots, sunglasses, hat, and doused in mosquito repellent, the hiker shoulders the load and embarks. Hours are spent hiking to the bottom of the snowfield. There, the trade is made from hiking equipment to ski equipment for the final ascent up the ice. Summiting, the cruise down the ice takes only a few minutes. What makes the trek successful? Is it defined by climbing the mountain or skiing down? Getting to the ice field is an accomplishment in itself, but returning to the starting point, the trailhead, is always the same: it’s all downhill. What goes up must come down.
As a master teacher and lifelong learner, it is the following characteristics of the summer alpine skier which contribute to my success in this first Diffimooc model: preparation, organization, enthusiasm, optimism, perseverance, resource management (time and energy), self-motivation and self-direction, risk taking, problem solving, sense of adventure, flexibility, understanding of social media, sharing, collaborating, advocating, participation, focus, sustainability, practice, and common sense.