Entering the MOOC

Here I am. On the verge of something new again. This is my introductory post as a participant in #etmooc.

About Me

Oh ya, I teach middle-years Language Arts and Social Studies. I have a sort of experiential and project-based learning teaching approach. I believe in not yelling at students, being respectful & approachable, and forging relationships to increase engagement.

How I Got Started with #ETMOOC

Whilst on the Twitter one day, I see a hashtag on my screen: #etmooc. “Hmm.”  Then I see it again.  “Hmmmmmm”

And again…and again. ‘”etmooc” ha, that’s a silly word. I guess I should look into it.’

After sifting through the hashtags, I find etmooc.org and check out the website. The words, “Massive Open Online Course” grabbed my attention.  I read the introductory message and decided to jump in and register.

The Question: Why Am I Doing This?

I’m participating in #etmooc because I love using technology in the classroom and I love learning. But why do I love tech and why do I want to participate in #etmooc? Is it because it’s trendy? Does it make me a better teacher? Does it make my students better learners? Does it make my job easier? Does it appease the higher-ups regarding “innovation”? Or is it more engaging than traditional teaching?

I know that #etmooc won’t “make” me anything. That’s up to me. Please bear with me for my two part answer.

The Answer 1.0

I love history. I love it because it’s deep and layered. It’s dynamic, has a variety of versions and viewpoints,  has lots of lessons hidden within, and it is being created everyday.

Maybe I’m just young and naive, but I feel we (humanity) are on the cusp of something grand. All of a sudden we have the technology to easily communicate around the globe, not just with text, but with video, pictures, and more.  I believe the advent of the Internet  (including all the  technologies that it has spawned) is a pivotal point in human history because it has revolutionized communication. My over-simplistic evolutionary overview of communication looks like this: Oral Traditions > Text > The Printing Press > Internet. Just because we move onto something new doesn’t mean the past is discarded, it is built upon.  Educational methods change in the wake of the evolution of communication. I want to be on the crest of a change that sweeps through education, and I believe ICT is the wave, so I want to ride it through. I want to be a part of history. I want to be a part of the discussion of how to make education better and more accessible.  I want to participate in what I believe is something revolutionary and democratic.  Collective learning. Understanding. Learning intrinsically. Building community. Sharing.  I believe in these things and that they’ll help shape a better future.

The Answer 2.0

ICT is the way of the younger generation and the generations that follow. In school, I want my students to engage with the world around them and learn. There are authentic information experiences everywhere, being made everyday. We just need to connect.

Published by Brent Schmidt

Educator. Skills: reading, coaching & shooting hoops, strumming guitars, talking to humans, gaming, consuming caffeine, scribbling and doodling, making foods.

3 thoughts on “Entering the MOOC

  1. Brent,
    I enjoyed watching your video. It was spontaneous and fun to meet you. Exciting that your new baby is coming! And I’m a Christian too. I don’t thump my Bible either, but I do need to pick it up more often than I do. Thanks for the reminder.


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