Week 1 in

Multiliteracies for Social Networking and

Collaborative Learning Environments


ORIENT in the Multiliteracies course

January 13-19, 2014


What's this going to be about?

"It is only by abandoning all notion of 'getting things clear' that it is possible to progress in this strange eworld :-)"

 - Elizabeth Ann in her profile at, January, 2011.


Be sure and read this:  


Previous renditions of this seminar have been taught as TESOL PPOT courses as well as free EVO sessions.  The course has most recently been based on MOOC precepts, where the M stands not for massive but for miniscule (Vanessa Vaile suggested other possibilities), in an attempt to show that the concept can be adapted successfully on a smaller scale. 


In this video where  Howard Reingold interviews George Siemens:, George articulates the rationale that I've been trying to communicate to previous participants in this course; e.g.


"I’m not aware of any research actually that says linear structure produces better outcomes than more chaotic meandering structure. Our intent, based on our theories of learning is to argue that the experience of learning, making sense of that chaos, is actually the heart of the learning experience, but if an instructor makes sense of that chaos for you and gives you all the readings and sets the full path in place for you then to a degree you are eviscerating the learner’s experience because now you’ve made sense of them and all you’ve told them is walk the path that I’ve formed. When it comes to complexity I’m a great fan of letting learner’s hack their way through that path and getting the value of that learning experience and that sense-making process.”


In an interview with Darrel Branson and Tony RIchards at, Dan Pink says emphatically (at 20:21 to 20:25 in the audio) "Teachers' autonomy here in the United States is being destroyed, it's being crushed."  The system (in both education and in industry) is suppressing intrinsic motivations in favor of extrinsic ones, which research shows are not the ones that people in fact respond to (see MOOCs and courses such as this one seek to leverage the real interests of both teachers and learners to act on self-satisfying drivers in unadulterated contexts.


From 23:18 in that interview,


"If you think about the kinds of problems we give our kids in school, they have certain attributes.  Those problems are very clearly defined, they are in a single subject matter, and they have one right answer.  That is the nature of many of the problems that our kids solved in school ... Again, (23:40) clearly defined, in a single discipline, and one right answer. I am 47 years old. I do not think I have ever, as an adult had a problem, in my life, that was like that ... the problems that I deal with, at work, in the world, are NEVER like that. They are invariably poorly defined. They are multidisciplinary. It's not like anything ever comes to me in my office and says to me, 'hello, I'm a math problem,' 'hello, I'm an English problem.'  They say, 'hello, I'm a big honky problem.' So they are poorly defined, or at least murkily defined. They are multidisciplinary and they often have multiple possible answers none of which are perfect, and those are real problems, and ... giving kids these hermetically sealed problems is not that particularly useful, and I think it's another reason why ... kids are going home to learn, because they are dealing with more interesting problems." 


So this course seeks to expose participants to real problems.

For more on how this relates to this course specifically,



Let's start the session 

Week 1: January 13 - 19, 2014 ORIENT

Success in a MOOC (Dave Cormier) 




Then join  


Here's now, as explained by Shelly Terrell on Crafting the e-Perfect Textbook

Use this link for MultiMOOC:


See this page for concise information about the spaces we use and the accounts you'll need to optimally benefit from the course.  

There's a checklist at the bottom of the page (for those who like to tick the boxes :-)



How will we communicate?


"Where's the center?"  This is a FAQ in MOOCs, echoed frequently by disoriented participants. Consequently, our main interaction usually takes place through our Yahoo Group.  We've been using it a long time, and it works well for quick questions everyone can see?


But we also invite chaos and offer to help participants navigate through Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, and comment on each other's blogs and wikis. We can also interact (with thousands of others) in other MOOCs running simultaneously to this one <-- click here.


If you don't have Yahoo and Google IDs, get them please: both are free and easy to obtain following the instructions at the respective sites. Please check our tutorials on the sidebar for more information on how to create your Yahoo and Google IDs (as with many suggestions here, this is optional and not critical to following our session, but you might be limited in collaborating with participants here via Google+ if you don't have a Google ID).


There are two main communication modes throughout this workshop: asynchronous and synchronous.



Synchronous (live, in-real-time sessions)


Live sessions, with guest speakers or in tandem with other online events, take place as shown here:



All times for live sessions will be given in GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). There is a clock with GMT time in the sidebar in the right frame of this wiki for you to check the time now where you are located.  For synchronizing watches at fixed times use Please learn your time in GMT :-)


Asynchronous (not live or in real time)


See this page for concise information about the spaces we use and the accounts you'll need to optimally benefit from the course.





YOU ARE NOT MEANT TO DO EVERYTHING suggested here.  There are more readings and activities listed than anyone can be expected do and still hold down a job, raise a family, etc. Just do what you can, keep a blog or journal as portal for a Me-Portfolio, TAG your posts #evomlit, and let us know where you are posting so that we can add your feed to our readers (it will help if you can fill in this form).  Interact with us in our forums, let us know what you are reading, especially if you find it particularly useful, blog about it, and tweet it using the tags #evomlit AND #mmooc13.

If you have questions about the tasks, you are encouraged to post your queries to the Google+ Community or YahooGroup ... 
This course does not have the critical mass or participants of a "massively" open online course, but it is run on the MOOC philosophy.  That is, it caters not only to present EVO participants, but also to a (somewhat less than) 'massive' cohort who have either taken the course before or are just interested in the topic.  This allows the participants to benefit from a wider network of participants than the relatively smaller group of registrants for the EVO sessions.  This method has worked well in the past.  Normally we achieve a handful of interactants to work with the registered participants in the session. 
We also connect with other MOOCs.  You are encouraged to sample here: More MOOCs
For more on this philosophy:


You can experience a real MOOC  by joining and exploring other MOOCs running simultaneously to this one<-- click here.


IMPORTANT URLS for this session:

Check the sidebar at right ==>


Links to tools and activities for the session can be found in our Syllabus

See this page for concise information about the spaces we use and the accounts you'll need to optimally benefit from the course.




Please tag all artifacts created for this course evomlit    


You can tag:


Check this out to see what you and others have tagged 'evomlit':


p.s. a tag is the same as a 'label' or 'category' in some tag systems


You can get the embed code for any Twitter tag search and create a widget like this one



Why not read a book or two while participating in this session?


If you'd like to enjoy a good book we have some suggestions at our Berry Bush Bookstore.

It's not a bookstore really, just a page at this wiki.  But you'll find there some of our suggestions for good ebook reading.  (Tip: Download a pdf and email it to yourself and you can read it on your iPhone.)


If you have more suggestions, please leave a comment on the BerryBush Books page.



& etc.


Here is one place where Vance articulated the relationships between Massive Open Online Courses and this multiliteracies course, August 17, 2011: 



The  video that used to be here prior to summer 2011 can be found via the links below:



And on this final (musical) note:

The link was to Kevin Honeycut's "I need my teachers to learn" - Vance will try to restore it :-(

Then, in May 2013


Events this week




Live events scheduled for this week


  • Sun Jan 12 1400 gmt EVO kickoff live megawebcastathon hosted by Jeff Lebow 
  • Sun Jan 19 time to be announced Jim Buckingham - Badges and MultiMOOC 


For updated information see http://learning2gether.pbworks/volunteersneeded  




This page revised January 14, 2014