Are eight-letter words twice as offensive?

What does one do when time is a critical factor and one is challenged to accomplish two different tasks in two different environments? Well … some might get uptight and vent their frustration, by swearing, using profane, “four-letter words”.

In my case, I chose to focus on common elements that satisfy the needs for both entities. Let me explain. I’m currently enrolled in two different massive, open online courses or MOOCs. This year, I am returning to Digital Storytelling – DS106 and thanks to information shared in this learning community, I signed up for Educational Technology & Media. Both of these MOOCs have certain unique expectations.

For example, in today’s  DS106 “The Daily Create” (#374) assignment, I was asked to “Take a picture of your favorite thing in the world to do, however simple or complex.” At the same time, ETMOOC facilitators are asking participants to “Tell us a little bit about yourself – perhaps, where you’re from, what you do, or what you want to be when you grow up – and let us know what you’d like to gain from #etmooc?”

My challenge is to try to meet both of these tasks without uttering any “four-letter words”. Perhaps one might assume that since I have twice the challenges, from the demands of two different MOOCs, my favourite “four-letter words” should increase or double in character length. That is indeed true. In fact, my favourite pastimes can be best described by the “eight-letter word “learning” followed by its slightly shorter, but equally important task of “sharing”. I trust that these two words are demonstrated in the following picture where I glean information from books, magazines and the Internet and share my findings in my educational blog called “Life-Long-Learners”.

Learning & Sharing

[DS106 – TDC #374: My favourite pastime – Learning & Sharing]

Although I am a retired K-12 educator, I’m still passionate about learning. About a year ago, a good friend and innovative educator, Darren Kuropatwa, suggested that I should sign up for the DS106 MOOC. He felt that the innovative learning style, where one can choose his/her own assignments, would challenge and engage me. Darren felt that I would use my blog posts to reflect on what, and how, I learned and share my journey with others. Furthermore, he knew that I would make connections with other like-minded participants and, through mutually supportive blog comments and tweets, extend my Personal Learning Network (PLN).

When I returned to DS106 this year, Ben Rimes (a talented Michigan educator whom I have never met face-to-face) shared in a blog post that he was about to sign up for #ETMOOC. So when another learning opportunity presented itself, be it in a somewhat serendipitous manner, I signed up.

As a former Mathematics/Computer Science teacher, I was always sharing resources with colleagues throughout our school division and our province. When I became an Education Technology Consultant for the Winnipeg School Division, I decided that the best way to help K-12 teachers and their students harness the power of technology was through a monthly educational newsletter. For 23 years I wrote and edited “Bits and Bytes” whose focus was “to provide educators with tips and techniques to help them integrate technology to enhance learning in K-12 classrooms”.

I believe that my philosophy about sharing and the importance of belonging to a PLN can best be summarized in my previous post, and video, entitled “My PLN: A Teacher’s Treasure”.

One of my favourite quotes, that I re-mixed in my first “Teacher Feature” is by Margaret Fuller, who stated “If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.” I think that as professional educators, we should strive to share our knowledge with others. Today, the Internet makes it so much easier.

In closing, I’ll end with the following two, “four-letter words”:

Take care 🙂

Larger Images are available on Brian Metcalfe’s Flickr photostream at:

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4 Responses to Are eight-letter words twice as offensive?

  1. Phil says:

    Thank you for the reflection piece Brian, very thoughtful. You continue to inspire and lead by example of demonstrating and documenting your learning.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Phil for your very kind words. Sue Waters (of Edublogger fame) conducted an interactive Blackboard session last night for participants of the Educational Technology & Media #ETMOOC. She reinforced how important it is, when blogging, to spend time commenting and reflecting. In her post today, entitled “Learning through blogging as part of a connectivist MOOC” she states:

    The idea of reflective blogging is you’re evaluating, reviewing, reflecting, revising while reading other people’s posts, commenting on their posts, writing your own posts and commenting back on comments made by others on your own blog.

    By following this process you’re learning at a deeper level and differently from how you’ve learnt previously; and you’re doing it as part of a community.

    Undoubtedly, my recent forays into the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) such as the Digital Storytelling DS106 and the #ETMOOC MOOCs, have helped me analyze and appreciate learning in a new and exciting way. Undoubtedly the support of my MOOC community members and faithful contributors, like you, from my Personal Learning Network (PLN), make my learning journey a very positive experience. Hopefully I can share this excitement with my readers.

    Take care & keep smiling 🙂 Brian

  3. Ben says:

    Nice thoughts about tackling two big courses at the same time, and hoping that you’ll survive both. Although surviving ds106 will be easier if you don’t mention to Jim Groom that you called it a MOOC, hehehehe. 🙂

  4. admin says:

    Thanks for the “MOOC Moment” Ben. Thanks as well for your submission of yesterday’s “Daily Create” writing assignment. The challenge to “List 20 uses for a banana.” forced me to think “outside the box” (of bananas, so to speak). When I titled my list as “Ben’s Banana Banter”, it was to honour you, the creator of the activity.

    Take care & keep smiling 🙂 Brian

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