Frequently Asked Questions

Illustration by @dogtrax

Illustration by @dogtrax

What am I signing up for?

Making Learning Connected will begin June 13 and end August 1. Over the course of these 6 weeks we will play with new tools and processes, share our results and our learning, and explore the educational model known as Connected Learning.

Signing up here at the Making Learning Connected blog means that you will receive the Making Learning Connected newsletters beginning June 13. Each week’s newsletter will be organized around Make Cycles that start on Monday and end Sunday. The cycles are not chronological but are instead meant to be iterative. Participants can therefore choose to participate in all the cycles over weeks, or come in and out of the event as per interest and availability.

Who is organizing this?

Making Learning Connected is an event offered during The Summer to Make, Play & Connect by Educator Innovator and is powered by the National Writing Project.

What are the goals of Making Learning Connected?

Illustration by @dogtrax

Illustration by @dogtrax

The goals of this MOOC are to:

  • Engage participants in interest-driven, making-centered experiences that embody the Connected Learning principles.
  • Adopt a collaborative approach and a reflective stance toward the processes of making and learning.
  • Provide an opportunity for participants to plan for an enactment of these experiences in their educational setting in the Fall.

What does “CLMOOC” mean?

Making Learning Connected is also known as #CLMOOC—Connected Learning MOOC. MOOCs are Massive Open Online Courses. Ours is completely open and free of charge to anyone who wants to participate, and we like to think of it more as a “collaboration” than a course. We will provide many opportunities for participants to connect and form small groups in order to share and reflect on their work, which is what we think MOOCs should be all about. Your learning will be directed by you.

“What is a MOOC?” courtesy of Dave Cormier

How will the MOOC work?

You can join the MOOC by signing up on our homepage. Once you do, you’ll receive communications about the MOOC and Make Cycle newsletters once the event begins. Newsletters will be filled with opportunities for participation as well as highlights from the community.

We have established places for sharing during CLMOOC, and if you already blog or have your own space for writing and sharing, you can connect that site to the larger MOOC community. You can work where you are most comfortable.

Where can we share?

Check out the Making Learning Connected G+ community and @clmooc on Twitter. In both the G+ community and on Twitter, you can search for CLMOOC related posts and tag your own posts with the hashtag: #clmooc. The Make Bank is set up as a place to keep some of your Makes as well as examples and tutorials you might create or want to share. And if you blog, consider adding a feed to CLMOOC blog posts to our Blog Hub.

Additionally a CLMOOC map has also been created and we expect other places will begin to emerge from within the community. Keep an eye out for those or start your own!

Illustration by @dogtrax

Illustration by @dogtrax

Is there an instructor?

There are teams of facilitators, coaches, and Make Cycle leaders, plus staff from the National Writing Project, who will be behind the scenes supporting the MOOC and its community—find a list of us here. As educators who are members of the National Writing Project and YouMedia Nation, we believe in peer-learning and will work to support and encourage connections and small groups among participants.

How much time will this MOOC take?

The 2014 event will run from June 13–August 1. It will be organized in weekly Make Cycles that will allow you to come and go or stay to participate in all the cycles. This open design is intentional and we hope that everyone will feel comfortable customizing the experience to their own needs.

What is Connected Learning?

Connected Learning is a research and design-based approach to education. It is based on the learning principles of being interest-powered, peer-supported, and academically-oriented. It is based on the design principles of being production-centered, openly-networked, and shared purpose. And it espouses core values of equity, social connection, and full participation.

Illustration by @dogtrax

Illustration by @dogtrax

What is up with all this “Making”?

A “Make,” as we use the term, is any project or work where you are creating something. In this MOOC, we draw heavily from ideas from Connected Learning which emphasize creating and production-centered learning. In this MOOC, possible Makes could include something you write (a story, poem, play, etc.) or draw (painting, comic, etc.) , a web page or app you create, something you bake, or a social network or connection you form. We’ll be connecting Makes to the Connected Learning principles, and while we’ll suggest some Makes you might do, we really hope that participants will come up with their own ideas for Makes that are meaningful to them. Our suggestions for Makes are merely that – suggestions.

Read more about Make Cycles as well as visit our Make Bank to learn more. You might want to Make A Case with us so check that out too.

If this is free, who is paying for it?

This MOOC is being generously sponsored by Educator Innovator as part of the Summer to Make, Play & Connect.

Is credit being offered for this MOOC?

No formal credit is being offered through the MOOC, however, you can explore local options for obtaining credit through your district or other institution.

Illustration by @dogtrax

Illustration by @dogtrax

Am I late?! Why are so many using the hashtag #clmooc already?

Making Learning Connected ran for the first time in 2013 and the hashtag #clmooc was established then. That tag continues to be used so we encourage you to follow and add it to your own posts if you are interested.

If I participated in Making Learning Connected 2013, how is it going to be different this summer?

Like CLMOOC 2013, the timeline will be structured by Make Cycles and we’ll be using Connected Learning principles as the foundation for our learning and reflections. Also similar to last summer, participants will be able to customize their experience to fit their own needs and learning goals.

While the structure and focus of the MOOC will be similar to Making Learning Connected 2013, there are several things that will make for a different experience. For instance, we will be welcoming many new colleagues who didn’t participate last summer and we will also be engaging in different making activities from last summer led by teams who took up the challenge to lead their own Make Cycles. When you get right down to it, the Connected Learning principles and the concept of make-to-learn creates a virtual infinite number of experiences, allowing this summer to be uniquely different from what came before.

Who is the National Writing Project (NWP)?

Through its mission, the National Writing Project focuses the knowledge, expertise, and leadership of our nation’s educators on sustained efforts to improve writing and learning. Writing in its many forms is the signature means of communication in the 21st century. The NWP envisions a future where every person is an accomplished writer, engaged learner, and active participant in a digital, interconnected world. Located on nearly 200 university and college campuses, NWP works in partnership with K-12 schools, libraries, museums, after-school programs, and local Writing Project sites to provide high-quality, sustained professional development for 100,000 teachers a year. Through its many successful programs and partnerships, the organization reaches 1.4 million Pre-K through college-age students in over 3,000 schools districts annually.

Illustration by @dogtrax

Illustration by @dogtrax

What is Educator Innovator?

As a network of networks, Educator Innovator gathers together like-minded colleagues and organizations whose interests and spirit exemplify Connected Learning: an approach that sees learning as interest-driven, peer supported, and oriented toward powerful outcomes. Educator Innovator and its partners support learning opportunities for teachers, youth workers, mentors, librarians, and museum educators that are open, re-mixable, and typically free or low-cost—and that share the goal of more powerful and connected learning for youth.

And how does this all relate to the Summer to Make, Play & Connect?

All across the country during the Summer to Make, Play & Connect, educators, parents, mentors, and young people are learning by doing, focusing on their interests and gaining the skills that are vital for the future. Making Learning Connected is just one of many activities for educators sponsored by Educator Innovator . See what activities other activities are happening this summer and how you can join the fun.

Special thanks to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for their support of Educator Innovator and Making Learning Connected.