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Free-range Thoughts

Marinating in the Mooc

Tag Archives: #globaled13


Just finished the concluding session of the online Global Education Conference. As a volunteer moderator it was a thrill to be connected with creative people from all over the world in virtual presentation classrooms. It is the kind of experience that changes you forever. It opens a door that cannot be closed. Opportunities for connection are vast and it is clear that “the people” only want to work together, to love each other, to solve our big problems and work with youth to break down the barriers of geography, language, culture to engage and solve problems and celebrate our differences, promote our solidarity and just enjoy each others company. It’s hard to express the joy it gives me.

When I was two years old I recall fondly an event – the archetype of which surely echoes through my life to this day.  This is the first time I have written about it.  Playing out on the sidewalk in the sun I looked up to see a little boy my age. His face was completely black; his hair too was jet black. In a flash my toddler mind registered “different!” and then “good” almost simultaneously, and in a blink of an eye, different/good turned into delight. Difference is not a thing to fear; difference is a delight. Soon we were playing together happily in the summer sun.

The GlobalEd Conference revives this feeling in me with the added wisdom and responsibility of knowing that Yes! we can heal the world’s troubles – and without a doubt it can only be done together.  You may be interested in following up on this conference and in that case you are in luck.  The wealth of presentations have been captured in recordings and can be viewed here:

As an aside, I got to practice my moderator skills in Blackboard. I obtained a moderator’s certificate in Elluminate in 2009 and I was getting rusty. I also became more comfortable talking through a microphone, and solving connection problems in the sessions. The conference attracts people who have no trouble connecting across cultures. It is the tech connections that are pesky. I applaud the speakers who spent so much time and energy preparing and presenting. You are the heroes of the day.