CLMOOC as Metaphor
For the first time since I entered kindergarten, I am officially unaffiliated with any educational institution. I’m no longer a student, teacher, supervisor, teacher educator, parent, volunteer, or whatever other role you can think of. My lack of official affiliation may be why I dove into CLMOOC 2016 with such gusto. Not that I produced many artifacts that crossed modes or mixed others’ work, but I thought and wrote and tweeted and sent and received a bunch of postcards. I felt welcomed; I felt I belonged. Thank you to all the organizers & other participants for that!
There are few things more important to humans than belonging, I think. What’s funny is that with CLMOOC, we belonged to something without a physical entity. We shared an ethos passed on in the ways tales from elders shaped bygone tribes. We congregated in places without latitude or longitude; something as arbitrary as time was as close a marker of a meeting point as we’d ever have.
People reached out to other people over an idea, a color, an image. People made things together and on their own. Some people were active on the outskirts, others were in the thick of everything, all the time. Each of us came along in our own way, for our own reasons.
I learned about some fun, cool digital tools and I learned I didn’t need to do more than that. I heard for the first time how FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) could easily morph into JOMO, Joy of Missing Out. I took pleasure in the creativity and initiative that sparked around me; I sparkled some myself.
And I realized, for the millionth time, this is what is so easily smothered within the walls of an institution: the spark, the moment, the joy.
And I wished schools could be different.
And I thought, hey, “unaffiliated” might be exactly what the doctor ordered.