“Learning Creative Learning” MIT online course: my experience so far

Posted by on February 15, 2013 in TechMuse Blog, Technology and Museums, The Museum Learning Experience | 4 comments

“Learning Creative Learning” MIT online course: my experience so far

Last week I caught a post in Karen Wilkinson’s Facebook feed about the experimental course, “Learning Creative Learning” being offered through Mitch Resnick’s program at the MIT Media Lab.  I signed up, as had 24,000 other people, and now we’ve been off and running for four days.

This “massive open online course” (MOOC) is an experiment for the Media Lab in wide distribution of resources and expertise.  For me, it’s an experiment in how deeply (and quickly) I can adapt the resources for my own uses in the museum world (and, maybe even in family life).  In the midst of being pretty busy with a lot of other things, and pretty casual about being a “student”, we’ll see where this goes…

A few moments so far:

  • I’m in a learning group of about 20 people (divided from the massive whole), from around the world.  Many from Nigeria, also Algeria, Spain, Peru, Canada…One of the cool moments was in the start when one of our members, Sreerajpal (hope I have his name right), an IT Services guy from Nigeria, forged ahead and set up a Google+ Community for our group. (I realized at the moment how Western-centric (if that’s a word) I’ve been in my thinking about technology in the world).
  • I discovered many other museum friends enrolled in the course also (by doing a search on “museum” in the Google+ community).  I posted a quick hello in their profiles, and it felt even more like a community.
  • Natalie Rusk responded to a question I posted a while back about potential use of Scratch with Kindergartners, and I gave it a try in our family.
  • Karen Wilkinson invited me to a collaborative event building structures with marshmallows and dry spaghetti, and before I could figure out what was going on, I had to decline because of conflict with family time in our different time zones.  (Now I’m bummed I missed the chance to catch up with a long-time friend and great force for tinkering in the museum world.  Will see if I can re-connect).
  • Building my Google+ proficiencies.  I opened an account last year, never used it.  Now I’m getting into it.
  • Based on an example set up for the whole class, I set up a Google Map so our small (but global) group of 20 could show where we’re from.  I didn’t get the permissions set right, which César from Peru noted — I fixed it and then he joined me on the world map.  Those two little markers on the map make the world seem a lot more connected.

That’s it for  now.  I’m thinking of implications for work in the museum world, and will write more about that next week…

With two pins, the world seems more connected


  1. I guess one of the strengths of these massive online courses is making (or re-making) connections. I am also participating in etmooc – a bit overwhelming, but the conversations and connections are key. I hope our group becomes active so that we can have some deep discussions

    • Hi Susan — yes, interesting that they divided the massive group (24,000?) into small groups (20 or so). Seems like a great step. One challenge is that we’re all pretty busy doing our non-student things. Our group seems to have lost a little momentum, but probably if we keep posting, others will join in. Fun even if it’s just a few of us…

  2. I tried to sign up, but by the time I got around to it, it was closed. curious what comes of it, keep us posted brad.

    • Yes, for once I responded in time! I’ve been busy the last couple weeks and haven’t kept as close of tabs on it — I think this is the case for many people. In fact, one of the big realizations for me — we need to design programs that people can filter into and out of without feeling they’re “behind”. They’ve structured the course nicely for this — now I just have to get back in the swing of it!

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