#etmooc Always Learners


walkthrougsamedoor coursoa

Inspiring as always, Educational Technology Massive Open Online Course  Community gathered together for the Third Anniversary of ETMOOC [ #etmooc ] ! More than twenty etmooc-ers met in Zoom to honor Alec Couros who started the waves rippling across the universe of connected conversations on the Internet.

etmooc year 3


Yes, the course ended three years ago, but the communities that formed from that online course still ebb and flow in connections, conversations, collaborations. We learned to be open, to connect, to start conversations and take the chance to start something new — to try something new. Although we worked with technology, the essence of success was the openness in choice, the acceptance of where each was, and the support from all to try, fail, try again — together. It was the reciprocal relationships and conversations encouraged by the facilitators and developed further by the participants that kept the course inviting and inspiring, allowing each to “choose their own adventure,” as Alec expects and reminds us.


So, yes, we are still a community, now building our own communities that resonate with our learning from #etmooc.  We learned to be learners again — and felt the struggle and the wonder of change. Change in mindset, change in possibilities, and change in our outlook of the world of education.

shift with it balen

Because #etmooc-ers so appreciate the learning we gleaned from the vision of  Alec Couros, we decided to do something that he [ with an idea from Daniel Bassill ] had suggested at the very end of our course:

The bigger question for me is always, “So I’ve developed a digital identity, and I’m connected to a powerful network of individuals from across the planet – what can I do with this to change the world in a meaningful way?”

We knew we wanted to honor Alec — how could we do so and change the world?

The idea from the lead team [ @rljessen @sspellmancann @christinahendricks @debbiefuco ] was to create a scholarship fund in Alec’s father’s name. Please read here [and donate if your can]:

The Mario Couros Memorial Bursary

The Mario Couros Memorial Bursary will help newcomers to Canada in reaching their dream of being one of tomorrow’s educators by providing financial assistance to pursue their Education Degree at the University of Regina. Mario came to Canada from Greece on December 14th 1957. He lived, worked and raised his family in Saskatchewan. He wanted to make a life and a difference for his family. Mario was a volunteer, a caring supportive father, grandfather, a loving husband and an extremely hard working man. He was a great role model for his children and others as he continued to be a lifelong learner with a fabulous work ethic until his passing. This award is dedicated in his memory.

It is also a tribute to his son Dr. Alec Couros who continues his father’ s legacy by inspiring and encouraging others to pursue their educational aspirations and follow a path to life-long learning.

The bursary will make a meaningful impact by breaking down the financial barriers to higher education and encouraging outstanding academic achievement. By contributing to this bursary you will enable Education students to focus on what matters most : their education.

The goal is to raise $ 25.000 to create an endowment that will allow for a permanent bursary at the University of Regina ‘s Faculty of Education. Your contribution to the Mario Couros memorial Bursary will live on in perpetuity in memory and honour of Mario’s legacy.   

Go here to learn how to participate: The Mario Couros Memorial Bursary Information

So, we continue to learn and grow together and help others. Isn’t that why we’re here?


Thank you  Alec Couros for dropping a pebble into a puddle that grew into an ocean connecting a world of passionate educators and that continues to ripple in learning and sharing in so many ways that we will never know. Thank you to your family, including George and mom Mary for your thoughtful and encouraging ways.

Thank you Susan Spellman-Cann and Rhonda Jessen for all the behind-the-scenes effort and tonight’s awesome anniversary party!

And, remember, #etmooc welcomes all.

Please join our community here in Google Plus.

water droplets

#etmooc Look Back to Move Forward



Make meaning from the bits and act to create change in education. 


  • Key Words: Connect, Contribute, Create, Curate


Look Back:

In January, 2013 an event started:Educational Technology Massive Open Online Course – ETmooc with Alec Couros as lead contributor  (conspirator) and originator.

Twitter brought me to it, and a journey began, a journey whose path still is one that I choose that is connected, personalized, and collaborative, and that is inspired by the people, projects, and conversations in the various neighborhoods to which my path flows.

From #etmooc, as I reflect on that first topic of “Connected Learning,” I still believe:


Move Forward:


Are you an experienced user of educational technology, or a novice just starting your PLN: Personal/Professional Neighborhoods?

Whichever you are, learn from #etmooc:

  1. Choose the connections relevant to you
  2. Interact as you can; keep balance in your life
  3. Dig deeper through reflection on the conversations, connections, and information as you apply their meaning to your life
  4. Share [with colleagues, through blogging, or in your online communities] the meaning, the work, the questions you’ve considered
  5. Curate your reflections and sources so others can view your path

If you step into refreshing online communities to both learn and share, you will also develop friends you may never meet, but whom you will treasure forever.

You can start by visiting some of the platforms on the PLN image above, especially #etmooc and Twitter #etmooc. Find Twitter users that resonate with you through Twitter chats, and then follow, comment, and connect on their blogs. [How to Twitter Chat]

So, what would you add?   What did you learn about Connected Learning from #etmooc?



About ETmooc, created by Alec Couros

Topic One Post #ETmooc Google Plus: Overwhelmed

Going Deeper: Making Meaning Vialogue (@bhwilkoff @thecleversheep )

Rodd Lucier’s socialcam post, “Like Spokes on a Wheel.”

Coalesced Connections (embedded Vialogue)

Clarifying ETmooc

The Fellowship of the Open Spokes

ETmooc Community

About Connected Learning

Personal / Professional Learning Neighborhood (PLN) from @bhwilkoff

2013 Build Your Neighborhood info from @thecleversheep and Silvia Tolisano @langwitches

2014 Reflection

My 2013 Personal Learning Neighborhoods

Twitter chats

How to Twitter Chat


Thank you to all the people I’ve met and continue to connect with from #etmooc and #clmooc.


Middle School #digiwrimo #clmooc

Digital Writing Month is nearly at an end, but #DigiWriMo for Middle School just might continue as options for my students.

I asked the folks at#DigiWriMo and #clmooc for a bit of helping setting up “Makes” for middle school.  Karen Fasimpaur and Kevin Hodgson graciously helped out to create these options for middle school students:

Examples from a student consistently working with DigiWriMo prompts:

#DigiWriMo and DigiWrimo  [She has two different labels — we’ll work on that ]

Hopefully, you’ll stop by and comment on her work.

And, remember, these are terrific options for the reading and writing classroom! Feel free to make a copy and add your own.  Please share if you do!

Thanks to the folks at#DigiWriMo and #clmooc for their continuous inspiration for moving education forward!


#etmooc 3rd Anniversary

Yes!  The #etmooc community continues to connect and learn, sharing our work and extending it forward.

What have we been doing? I’ve found some interesting work done my #etmooc mentors — those who have inspired me over the last years:



is now a Vice Principal of a K-8 school and she asks “Who is in your class?” in  a great post about “doing” and “relationships.”



Susan Angel created a First Nations video about her passion and research into oil pipelines; she created it last summer, and I’m still thinking about it.


Verena Roberts is a leading expert in Open Education Resources and is now providing expertise in blended learning at INACOL: roadmap and webinars.


David Wees continues his leadership in math instruction. Love this post on student engagement: “Participation in Math Class.”



Gallit Zvi and Denise Krebs have written a book about Genius Hour !

We have a lot to catch up with on our third anniversary !  How about helping by accepting Susan Spellman-Cann’s challenge!

  • Find five people that were in #etmooc
  • Share some of their wisdom over the next two months, some great post they wrote or something they have posted to twitter that you like
  • Share their posts to the #etmooc hashtag.


#etmooc Posts

#TribeofBloggers Challenge #etmooc

A Tweet:


Do you want to blog, but time gets away from you?  That’s my issue — making time. Here’s a challenge anyone can accept:  Twice monthly blogging challenge.

I’m so glad I dipped into the twitter stream to see Jennifer’s tweet. A challenge creates commitment.

Let’s do it!

Challenge tossed to #etmooc in anticipation of our upcoming anniversary.  How about it?

#DigiWriMo Choice and Voice

What Counts


What counts?  My friends keep me grounded and growing, reaching out in ways that encourage collaboration, connections, and community. DigiWriMo, Digital Writing Month, is one such way.

The ThingLink image above is my “real résumé, the parts of my life that count, that help me grow to help better the world — wherever I am.

Maha Bali, Sarah Honeychurch and Kevin Hodgson are three of the founders who draw educators and others together in Digital Writing that inspires us and our connections, be they peers, students, friends, or family. They draw us in to reflect on what writing is today: a building of community by communicating in various media to connect and / or collaborate to learn together and to enjoy the process and the writing by growing relationships that extend around the world. It’s awesome.

I really don’t know how they do everything they do  because I can’t keep up, but I love that the invitation is always there, the connection is a bond of caring towards people I’ve never met in person, but truly consider them the dearest of friends with fond memories of struggle and joy. Most of this is from the communities we share: blogs, Twitter, CLmooc, ETmooc. I’ve not been a part of DS group, but certainly feel its presence.

And the common thread is writing. Writing in text, multimedia, video, infographics, comics, and music. Yes, those are writing — the bringing forth from thought into a clear message. That process of planning, drafting, revising of media is writing in the digital age. It’s authentic writing, writing that spreads joy and care, information and opinion, narrative and humor; the things, the thoughts that make us human and bring us closer together. Oh, how I want my students to enjoy that with their writing.

So that’s why my students in November have two choices: NaNoWriMo and DigiWriMo, which I am transforming for Middle School. Why? Because that choice IS what counts: we do best what we choose to do. I’ve written about choice, voice, and flow in writing at DigitalIs: Let Them Write!

That flow, that voice, that freedom to choice the story and characters, the setting and the plot is what really counts, and is what will be remembered. And DigiWriMo provides that same inspiration of choice to express our voice.

Let them choose. Let them write. Let them be real. So students too can better their world with their voices.

Are you ready to hear them?