I’ve been on holiday, spending time with family and friends. During this time the conversations turn to technology, as it often does when I’m around. I tried to explain what I’ve been doing and describe the people I’ve shared my time with over the past several months. That’s when my digital friends became real – they’re not just part of my imaginings or bits of code at the other end of a tweet. As fascinating as it sounds to my face to face family and friends, it’s a real connection to people I may never see in person.
While trying to explain my digital life (which consumes many hours for most days) I had to find ways to describe what it’s like to engage in a twitter chat to people who don’t know what Twitter is all about. I had to find words to explain what a MOOC is and why I’ve been mooc-ing around since #MOOCMOOC Critical Pedagogy first got me engaging in open learning spaces. Getting past twitter and mooc’s led to discussions about the people I’ve met online – no matchmaker.com involved! It’s hard to describe to those who’ve never been there or done that. Which brings me to the scarf!
My daughter was picking up the mail while I was away on holiday and I received an excited text about a package that had arrived from Scotland. Since I was in a crowded family gathering at the time of this text, it naturally devolved to ‘who do you know in Scotland?’ So now I can bring my digital connections into reality with friends and family – thanks @ for perfect timing and the lovely infinity loop scarf! (I knew immediately that the package was from you, Sarah.) It brought clarity to my descriptions of the digital world and the real connections. Like the scarf, it wrapped around the ideas, the notions of friends and family in far off places and became a symbol of how Twitter and MOOC’s can bring people together.
So thanks to all those people out there working hard to create MOOC spaces for others to come together, to learn and share, to create and tinker – @, @, SOOC4Learning, #HumanMOOC, Rhizo15, and CLMOOC.
Thanks to all those who spend time organizing twitter chats to bring like minded learners and educators into digital conversations – there are so many available HERE.
And for Sarah – you make it all real! Thanks.