For the first time, I am enrolled in a Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC. I am taking Maps and the Geospatial Revolution with Dr. Anthony Robinson from Penn State University on Coursera.org. (#maprevolution on twitter)
I took 2/3 of my classes online for my MSLIS at the Drexel University iSchool, so I am very familiar with online classes, and especially those on a tight time frame, such as the 10 week Drexel quarters. This class is 5 weeks, which I think is doable, even for a busy time for me like the summer.
So far it’s my very first day in my very first MOOC. This professor offers both typed and streaming video lectures, which I appreciate because I really learn better by both reading and listening. The lectures are short, which fit my attention span in the heat of the summer evening hours after work.
To begin, we are looking at the incredible pace of change in the use of geospatial data for navigation, decision-making, and storytelling.
The professor asked everyone to add a point on a digital map to represent our location, and I was surprised to find 3 other people in my immediate neighborhood taking the very same MOOC! I live in a large city, but I was still surprised by that result.
I’m taking this class primarily for four reasons:
- To figure out what all this MOOC fuss is about
- To get some more structured and guided experience with GIS tools since I may have to work more with them in the future, if my employer expands its support for Digital Humanities projects
- To see if any of these GIS tools might be applied to subjects I am interested in, such as linguistics (mapping language change over time)
- Most of all, to do something cool and different
I’ll post my progress weekly, so that I can get used to being more public about my professional endeavors.
See you around the MOOC’s.
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