Okay, so that wasn’t so bad! Actually, it was great. Annotation is basically what I do normally in pdf form on journal articles for my research – so it came naturally. Plus, I like to think and talk so I may have found my outlet. I apologize (because I am Canadian and it is the polite thing to do!) ahead of time. I just write down my thoughts and ideas- and, I promise, you all will get used to my lengthy babbling ideas. The strange part was knowing that it was no longer private. It did involve some self-policing of how and what I chose to say but I attempted to keep it as open and vulnerable as possible – this is me and what I think and people are going to disagree (in which I can gain understanding) or agree (in which I can gain understanding). So, I see participating as transparently as possible as a benefit to developing a better me (and who doesn’t like that???).
Another interesting part of this exercise which peaked my interest was the possibilities of annotations. I come from a Canadian university that back in the early 2000s made the seminar system the only mode of learning for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students to shift away from traditional lecture forms. Seminars gathered in groups of usually 10-15 learners in which the students (me!) were responsible for reading and discussing our way through the material together. The leader of the seminar was only known as a facilitator and gave us guidance from time to time but otherwise, was silent and observant. Eventually, we also facilitated the seminars as well. Annotations remind me of this process but in a new environment. Actually, the entire cMOOC experience reminds me of this so far. Its constructing and building a network of knowledge based on personal understanding and meanings – I find it really cool (plus, I can sit in my pjs with mug of coffee while I learn! Shhh, don’t tell anyone!)