Sharing on-line – Why do we blog or shy away from it?

I am involved in an online community called ETMOOC  (which I hesitate to call a Course for reasons explained here).  It is suggested that we use a blog as a reflective and communication tool.  I was happy with this as blogging has become part of my professional activity over the past few years and it fits with my learning style, interests and skills.  Quite naturally though, there are many who are new to blogging and I have noticed a large degree of trepidation amongst the first nervous posts.  I have seen this amongst my colleagues as well, a mixture of people who are comfortable in this medium and those who are not, or at least use it in only one facet of their professional lives.   It makes sense, as we know that we are all different, have different learning styles, are somewhere along the introversion/extroversion scale and will therefore all have different comfort levels at exposing our thinking in a public medium.

Four barriers to Blogging, by Ian Gray, suggests that Perfectionism and Procrastination are two major reasons why people don’t blog.   My thinking is that the Perfectionism is the major one: many people believe that they have nothing to offer or that others know more than them and therefore their contributions would be of lesser value.   I would like to encourage people to re-think their attitude if Perfectionism is hindering their involvement. I have mentioned this short clip before “Obvious to you. Amazing to others” but it remains relevant .

Are you holding back because you think you have nothing worthwhile to share?  If so, I would like you to re-consider, think about how you happily read other people’s posts and how ideas and fears resonate with you.  In my experience, the benefits gained from putting yourself out there far outweigh the nervous apprehension felt when your mouse hovers over the PUBLISH button.   I admit that blogging is a risky experience but so too are most learning opportunities!

“Nothing spectacular just my ordinary thoughts” – Derek Sivers

If you are new to blogging I congratulate you and suggest you persist, find a purpose (ETMOOC for example) and blog away.  Don’t be deterred by a lack of comments as sadly there is only a very small number of people who read and actually comment despite enjoying what they read!   If you are an experienced blogger perhaps you could add to the conversation?  Why do you blog?

On-line learning – a MOOC

Another opportunity to learn has come to me through Twitter connections.  An online course, a Massive Open Online Course or MOOC, in this case ETMOOC.  Reading the Introduction and this post by Donna Fry (@fryed) caught my attention as it appears that this course will have some structure and planned content in areas that interest me but also plenty of flexibility to harness the power of the group of people who are participating.  The Google+ community is already being populated by an amazing group of people who come from across the world.   I am enjoying watching the Introductory messages people are posting on Google + as well as via Twitter. The global nature of this course will be a highlight.

So here goes …. my first MOOC which still think it sounds strange but so did Blog and Wiki a while ago! 😉  It seems reasonable at this stage to ask the question, So what is a MOOC?

By way of introduction to the new #etmooc community, I am a teacher in a small primary school in Melbourne Australia.  This year, I am also taking on a coaching role, assisting schools to implement online learning and harness the value of ICT’s.    I have participated in online learning opportunities before, in particular, the State Library of Victoria’s Personal learning Network program.   This opened the world to me and was my introduction to blogging and Twitter, which have transformed my thinking as an educational professional.  The concept of sharing online was scary and still is at times, but the benefits it has given me far outweigh the discomfort I have felt.

I have participated in Reform Symposium’s online learning opportunities as well but never before in a MOOC !  I think this will be a wonderful extension of my previous experience and be another wonderful opportunity to extend my network. The first task is to introduce ourselves and this post and this short Animoto video are my contribution.