kgitch on authenticity

When I joined this #etmooc, I asked the question “How, in the big picture of 1600 people, does one connect inside this MOOC?” @AlisonSeaman left a comment on my blog encouraging me to remember what it takes to get to know someone in real life and to allow myself the time to become acquainted. She was right. It takes time to develop friendships, connections, and trust.  It certainly wasn’t going to change in one hour session! I should have just posted a sign that says “Like me, I need a network!”

Suddenly I felt vulnerable, which I always think of as a bad thing, when it is not! My thought was that it was going to be a virtual miracle to find another like voice in the mix, to see a smile in the distance or find a person with common ground to relate on. So, I continued to just listen in, read all the thoughts, share the links and pondered my role in this course.

As I shared in my “Also kgitch“, I like to follow (both on blogs & twitter) people that share more than just one thing.  As in everything I do, I want to develop a network of people that I enjoy following for all of their thoughts – not just their stance on education. I like to see people talking, links and posts that are fun, thoughtful or spoken.

Yet this week as I pumped out my links & retweeting all the great #etmooc tweets, I caught myself being nothing but that person. The one that I don’t like to follow.

Chagrined… I realized that I need to be more transparent. I need to be more of an authentic person.

As I’ve been thinking about this, I’ve been challenging myself to let go of my vulnerabilities. You know, the little voice in my head that says I shouldn’t comment on that thought, or the one that worries “if I put a “smiley” face on something I won’t be taken seriously”, or being nervous to join a conversation in case they won’t like my point of view.

In a random twist, as I pondering this, I came across this fabulous video of @jonathanfields interviewing @brenebrown on the Power of Vulnerability. The points that fit here are these: “Get over the illusion of separateness.” and how she said “I trusted my professional self more than my personal self.”  “That there are stories to be told, songs to be played, and if everyone is afraid to share them, then the world mourns that loss.” There it was for me: 1) that I needed to stop thinking of myself as separate from all the other participants; 2) that I needed to trust my personal self as much as my professional self; and 3) that there is a story or thought I have that is worth sharing. (This is an amazing interview – speaks to academics, entrepreneurs and to each person who risks sharing themselves.)

This leads me back to this Connected Learning #etmooc and how to develop a personal network that I can both learn from and be authentic with.

Tonight, as I was typing this post, @AlisonSeaman shared a link to this article: The best approach to building relationships by @johnstepper, which identified five points in building purposeful relationships:

Generosity: thinking first of what you have to offer instead of what you need

Empathy: thinking of how the other person will think and react to what you say or do

Authenticity: being your true self

Intimacy: getting beyond small talk to things that matter

Vulnerability: offering up your own imperfections and need for help

I am reminded to be thoughtful and ask myself what I can share in this network that shows those traits. I want to ensure that I am giving as much as asking. And while I am looking for commonalities, shared likes, thoughts and methods. I am a human, not a robot. There are beautiful songs to share, videos that make you laugh or cry and photos to share. Post stories, thoughts, ideas. Have a bad day every once in a while, for pete’s sake, it happens.

Who I am offline is also an aspect of who I am online. I am Karin with my family; I am Karin with my friends; I am Karin with my coworkers. Who has time or the energy to be completely different in all those different roles?

Be authentic, be real.

And continue to share.

BTW: If you haven’t read anything on it, this is an excellent post by Erin Stark “On digital dualism (or why, in 2013, are people still fear mongering the Internet?) ).


kgitch on #etmooc week two


Reflections by Kevin Dooley Flikr via Compfight / Creative Commons

After a few days disconnected, (though keeping track of the “Bill of Rights” drama and reading #etmooc blogs), these are my reflections on this past week.

#etmooc Blackboard Cheers!

I am thrilled to see people learning to blog and use Twitter.  The Blackboard sessions were all about the basics to blogs, twitter and digital literacy.  Since I am familiar with these concepts already, it was eye-opening to see how many have never tried or used these forums. Honestly, I just thought I hadn’t found their blogs yet, not that they hadn’t written! New to me, is using the recommended WordPress for this course. It’s simple, quick and easy to use. But honestly, as I am a #googlegirl, my favorite part is the ability to like a blog. Perhaps that is very Facebook of me, but it gives me the opportunity to cheer a person on for what they wrote. Plus I can read on my Kindle and like with ease.

“Pardon me, ma’am”:

I have to chuckle every time etiquette questions come up. “So, how do we speak to one another on this thing called twitter?” It’s the same etiquette of life, my friends, just happens to be online. Share, converse and be open to learning/disagreeing/helping. Don’t shame, yell or be rude. When someone talks (writes): listen & think. When commenting: be polite, compliment and if disagreeing, be professional.  On twitter, if someone speaks to you, be polite and speak back. You are not committing to a marriage here, and you never know if this person might be a perfect member of your learning network. As in life, more specifically as a teacher in life, you know how important it is to acknowledge the person speaking without putting your own personal bias on them. They may not know everything, they may be confused, but you can still share, listen and be open to their thoughts. I’m a big fan of appreciating the retweets, shares or comments. Saying thank you goes a long way, especially in twitter world.

Nascar of Chatrooms:

Seriously? You #etmooc-ers can type!!! I’ve resorted to lurking on the #etmchat sessions, as it was difficult to keep track/comment as I sat in the hospital watching a nurse work with my mother. I’ve used Tweetdeck for several years, which is a brilliant application allowing me to read tweets in columns. My current columns are #etmooc, #etmchat, #edcmooc, #edchat and #lrnchat.  This past week the flow of tweets was constant! Even the die-hard regulars made comments on how insanely fast the chats were moving. I applaud all who jumped in to the conversations. My participation? I resorted to simply favoriting comments and statements that were meaningful to me, it was quicker than trying to post a comment that was 30 minutes too late.

“Can I have your Google Business Card?”:

Best information share from @courosa were his thoughts on your digital footprint.  (Connected Learning slides) The concept is simple: put the information YOU want out there – flood the internet with the news you create. You are in control of what is put out there. Yes, other people might have something about you, but if you are flooding the digital world with thoughts, articles, news, ideas and connections – guess what content is being pulled up? The stuff you put out there.


This week I added 25 more people on Twitter, found 12 more technology tools/websites to add to my “learn list” and linked about 35 blogs to my readers (I use both Google and WordPress).  The tools I am most appreciative of were the links to the free photographs on where the option to select ONLY Creative Commons is an option. The photo I used today came from there, and links directly to the photographer that allowed it.

Favorite Quote:

“Chance favors the connected mind.” Steven Johnson

Which led me to learning more about Steven Johnson and this fantastic video below.

Or if you like, his Ted Talk.

kgitch day three of #etmooc – A Day to Play

comic bitstrips2

I was out of commission yesterday, dealing with hospitals and surgeries, so I missed a whole day of #etmooc!

Sad face.

Which means that I played catch-up, put out fires and dealt with all the little things that happened while I was out. No time for class.

Even sadder face.

So, tonight, as I read through the twitter chat (#etmchat), I was thrilled to connect with more wonderful people and added even more fun programs to my “to learn/to play” with list for use in the classroom.

Happy face!

As I finish out the evening shift, I’ve played with

testing piktochart

Which in all honesty, did not move easily. It is extremely limited with the “free module” and I actually quit because the screen was difficult to move. I’ll be looking for another program – please share if you have success with one.

My other play was, very fun. But without the download ability, I had to print screen to get the image I wanted…

comic bitstrips

Other fun programs that I see use in the classroom – for humor or for presentation:

Create a tagged photo: very cool!!

This would be so fun to use for brainstorming sessions or classroom birthdays or events and RSVPs or for teachers to share thoughts:

So many different ideas with this timeline website:

What are you seeing as you read blogs and see introductions? Let me know, I’ll go take a look.


kgitch on chatter and connections

I joined the #etmooc orientation this afternoon from my office.  Which meant that my office phone rang, people walked in asking questions and I felt torn between what was needed and what I wanted to be doing.

Apparently, my timezone will always place the class time in the midst of something else.   Ironic. Didn’t I tell you I was a multitasking type of learner?  Able to juggle and do more than one thing at a time? Yikes, this one is definitely going to stretch my powers.   If I am going to take this serious, I will have to participate from the sidelines and catch the recordings of most of this course. I’ll have to make a commitment as professional development time.

Overall, it was an introduction to the weeks that are coming, so I didn’t miss much.  Alec is fun to listen to – comfortable and engaging. The chat corner was a 100 miles an hour, and to whomever shared how to save the chat **thank you**, I’ll be doing that from now on. I was able to open all links saving them to read in the quiet hours (**love Evernote**). And lastly, I thoroughly enjoyed the drawing feature engaging the group to respond.  I’m a huge fan of the visual, allowing for the group to share creatively.

I’m curious though, how to engage and connect in that sphere? I’m much more comfortable on Twitter or commenting on blogs, but found the space today not so comfortable for engaging.

If you have a good method that works, let me know! Time for me to search the blogs, follow more twitter accounts and ask a ton of questions.

kgitch joining the conversation #etmooc

Eek! I’ve done it, I’ve joined the conversation around #etmooc.

1200 people/educators/professionals from 67 different countries are going to be a part of this course. It’s huge! Will it be worth it?


Last weekend, on Twitter there was a lot of chatter about how MOOCs (massive open online courses) were failing, their value not holding up, thought leaders calling this “dead” and reluctantly joining in “hoping” to see it’s value return. What I heard in all their opinions was that they couldn’t control what was happening (too many conversations/no one listening to instructor) or get enough data return (finished courses). Isn’t that the general concept of a MOOC, stepping out of those bonds, putting the value directly into the hands of the person learning?

One of the strongest attractions that I have to this type of learning is the fact that it is connecting, participatory and multifaceted – if you want it that way. Because you could join, listen, watch and LEARN, without ever joining the conversation. I have found that I love learning when it’s people like you and I joining in and talking. Not just the big names or “experts”, it’s those of us who actually are in the classrooms, walking the hallways, working with students, and building programs that meet their needs. We’re not waiting for the top tier to give us the information, we are connecting and learning and developing.

As for choosing this MOOC? I joined this #etmooc conversation to connect with adjuncts/professors/coordinators to learn how they integrate new methods and effectively teach. I joined because of the potential connections, the collaboration and the value for networking. I joined to listen and share. I joined to engage in learning.

So, hello to my fellow #etmooc classmates! I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts, engaging in conversations and taking new skills back to my world.


What is a MOOC?

MOOC – Massive Open Online Course:

The simplest presentations by @davecormier from 2010 – about MOOCs and Successful learning in MOOCs.

Also MOOC – How to have Success in a MOOC:

What I will be joining in and talking about:

etMOOC – Educational Technology Massive Open Online Course

  • Welcome (Jan 13-19): Welcome Event & Orientation to #etmooc
  • Topic 1 (Jan 20-Feb. 2): Connected Learning – Tools, Processes & Pedagogy
  • Topic 2 (Feb 3-16): Digital Storytelling – Multimedia, Remixes & Mashups
  • Topic 3 (Feb 17-Mar 2): Digital Literacy – Information, Memes & Attention
  • Topic 4 (Mar 3-16): The Open Movement – Open Access, OERs & Future of Ed.
  • Topic 5 (Mar 17-30): Digital Citizenship – Identity, Footprint, & Social Activism