This summer I am participating in The National Writing Project and Educator Innovator‘s Making Learning Connected MOOC, or, as it is affectionately known, #CLMOOC. While it is called a MOOC, it is different than what we have traditionally come to know as a MOOC – the #CLMOOC is about making and sharing together in an openly networked way; there is no “sage on the stage” dispensing information.
The #CLMOOC is organized by “make cycles” in which learners are encouraged to make something that relates to a topic or creation of their interest. For example, if you are into scrapbooking, make cycle #1 may ask you to make an avatar that represents you and your interests. You might, therefore, create a scrapbook image of you or something you made and post it as an avatar. This is the essence of Connected Learning – peer supported, production-centered, participatory learning.
My greatest interest, outside of academia and running, is being a mom. Therefore, my nine year old son and I have decided to make things together for the #CLMOOC. We began this week by taking a trip to the craft store to figure out what we would like to make together. We passed by stickers and birdhouses, yarn and embroidery, until we finally came to the cake decorating section, which is when my son yelped with glee. I should have known, given that his is the child of a chocolatier and an avid watcher of “Cake Boss,” that this would be the craft of choice. So, we piled on the fondant, piping tips, and cake molds into our shopping cart and got ourselves all ready to make some serious cake.
The choice of cake-decorating seemed serendipitous, in that we have also planned a special “Mom and Son” time that will occur few days before camp begins, with the theme of “food.” Each year we do this (we like to call it “Mama Camp”) – we try to find fun and inexpensive adventures that integrate some theme to learn about. Last year’s theme was “structures,” and the previous year was “rocks.” So, I’m pretty sure that Mama Camp will be inter-woven with cake-making into the #CLMOOC. Our other planned adventures include a visit to a friend’s farm, a visit to another friend’s catering business, and a visit to the Jersey shore to go crabbing.
So, I’ll be doing a bit of blogging about cake-making, Mama Camp adventures, and other collaborative making for the #CLMOOC here on my blog this summer. If you want to join in the #CLMOOC fun, go to: http://clmooc.educatorinnovator.org/2014 .