Bits n’ Bytes – Putting the Pieces Together in #ETMOOC

I love doing jigsaw puzzles. I remember as a kid doing them with my grandfather and having a knack for it. I still have some in my house, you know, the ones with 1,000/1,500 pieces.  These days, I do most of them online.  Different shapes and colors and of course, subject matters/designs that only come together when the pieces are put together. This is one I did recently.


This week in #ETMOOC, there has been a certain amount of anxiety people have had because like a jigsaw puzzle, the bits n’ bytes of #ETMOOC have been put on the table and are scattered all over the place. So many pieces, so many places to start. Most of us crave structure and the chaos of the pieces being scattered leaves us with a desire for them to come together in a meaningful way. That’s their purpose.

Usually, when I start a puzzle, I create a framework by doing the border of the puzzle. Next, I sort pieces by color or parts of the subject matter/design. Next, I begin the work of assembling the puzzle. So, you get the metaphor, right? This week was not about putting pieces together. It was about beginning to get a sense of the subject, being introduced to the different parts of the puzzle (people, bits n’ bytes of information, applications, etc.) and thinking about how to engage the puzzle. We’ve all been exploring how to do that and many have contributed to our understanding of how to begin the work and get a little more grounded in the process.

So, don’t fret. Let there be joy in the journey as you meet people from many places and backgrounds and read/see through the lens of their experience/curation. Also, I hope, like me, you will get more comfortable in your own skin (who you are), and see yourself as one of many pieces that make up the #ETMOOC community. It’s been a pleasure for me to be a part of others joy as they’ve engaged #ETMOOC. I’ve been reminded that no matter how small my contribution, it has its place not only in my experience, but in enriching the lives of others. Being reminded of that was worth the first week alone. Here is the video by Derek Sivers that really brought that home for me. (Obvious to You, Amazing to Others)


About Sisqitman

I am an Instructional Technology Specialist for Van ISD in Van, TX. My vision is to help equip, encourage, and support teachers, students, and admin. in their use of technology in teaching and learning.
This entry was posted in Connected Learning, etmooc. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Bits n’ Bytes – Putting the Pieces Together in #ETMOOC

  1. bettyannx says:

    Thanks for the puzzle analogy. It expresses some of what I’m feeling. I’m enjoying the flow but really I want it all to make sense RIGHT NOW. It takes an effort of will to just let it go for a while.

    • Sisqitman says:

      Betty, I’m pretty Type A in my technology life and stepping back is taking work. As a tech. coordinator, I’m used to having to problem solve in a short span of time. It actually has made it hard to more proactive types of projects. So this week has helped me think through how to build a better framework for ongoing project development. And starting with ETMOOC is good practice! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Pingback: ETMOOC Orientation Week « Jenny Connected

  3. I;m a fan of jigsaw puzzles, but like manipulating the actual pieces, so don’t do them online. I like your analogy about putting pieces together through the ETMOOC experience. The video you embedded is the same one I embedded in a blog post for one of the courses I teach, Integrating Technology and Literacy. I can’t remember who first posted it in ETMOOC, and maybe it was you, but am judging not because the post I put up for my students is dated Jan. 16: Funny how we grab ideas from the MOOC and use them right away. I am not sure who put the video up first in the MOOC or if you even saw it there. It seems to be popular one with over 62,000 hits on YouTube.

    • Sisqitman says:

      My participation in ETMOOC this week has brought up for me some issues in my professional life – that puzzle needs some work 🙂 Sometimes I struggle with my contribution as a tech. coordinator, and the video was an encouragement. I first saw the video on Jeff Merrell’s (@JeffMerrell) summary post, “Reflections on the #etmooc Orientation.” He said it was referenced by @AlisonSeaman in the orientation. Grabbing ideas and using them for me is part of wonder of the online world, don’t you think? I sometimes say, “What did I do before Google?” I’m interested in how you use your blog. I just subscribed to it and I like your blog “Computers in the Classroom” and how you present topics to those you’re writing for. I’m trying to figure out what would work best working with high school teachers. Thanks, Judy!

  4. I like your puzzle analogy, but I think of this #etmooc experience more like creating a dish in the kitchen. We all have access to the same ingredients, but how we choose the different parts to create a tangible is going to vary from one cook (learner) to another.

    I am a huge fan of Iron Chef and am constantly amazed at the dishes the chefs create using the the resources they have available in the Iron Chef kitchen. Of course the most important ingredient on each show is that week’s secret ingredient which is revealed before the chefs begin their battle. The secret ingredient must be the star of each dish both of the chefs create.

    So what is the secret ingredient of #etmooc? This is the question I am struggling with this week.

    • Sisqitman says:

      Hi Paula. Thanks for sharing the cooking analogy. My wife and I watch “Chopped” and the “Iron Chef” all the time. I’m always amazed at the creativity of the chefs to transform the ingredients into something memorable (in a good way..LOL) for the judges. That is one more way for us to look at #ETMOOC. The secret ingredient…hmm…because we’ll be making different courses (appetizer, main dish, dessert), I’m thinking this week’s secret ingredient for #ETMOOC was – introductions – and they were served up with text, video, Prezis, Storybird, Xtranormal. Now next week…I’ll have to explore that! Thanks again for your insight.

  5. Nice metaphor Glenn! When you start a 1000 piece puzzle it looks daunting and overwhelming, but as you sort the pieces you see a pattern begin to emerge. The week was a bit anxiety ridden, so much new information whizzing by and not quite sure yet what is important and what is not (no pattern yet) But you are right on the money with recognizing and savouring the significant pieces of the puzzle,

    • Sisqitman says:

      Hi Carolyn. I feel that way in my job as a tech. coordinator at times and recognize the need to enjoy the process more. I hope your next week things start to come together more for you. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I like what you said about seeing ourselves as one of the puzzle pieces of the #etmooc community. I am one of over 1600, but without that piece the puzzle would just not be the same. I am not very good at analogies, but this one might work for students and for myself.

    • Sisqitman says:

      Hi Susan. I’m glad you’re one of the 1600. I’ve enjoyed reading your Tweets and your comments in Google+. And now, I’ve read your blog posts and will head back there to comment. I can see blogging as a great tool for students – a place of reflection and self-expression. I made a connection with you as soon as I saw that you are a counselor. In my past, I was a counselor with a group home/foster family agency, and did individual/marriage/family counseling. I encouraged a few of my clients to journal and would’ve loved having an interactive journal with some of them. I hope you find solace and encouragement in your own journaling and can share that experience with your students.

  7. Pingback: Etmooc Comment Scraper Output (continued) « Connection not Content

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s