We had our first live session in the Change 2011 MOOC yesterday. It was a great experience as I'd hoped, but not for the reasons I'd expected. One reason for joining the MOOC was just to see how it worked, and the live session didn't "work," at least not at first.
The session was held using Big Blue Button, an open source conferencing program. When I tried to enter the conference, I kept getting an installation notice. Oops. Remembering I was here to learn, I went to the Change2011 Facebook page and checked to see if anyone else was having a problem. Voila! A participant there suggested that switching to Chrome had worked for her. I switched and got in! I could hear, but couldn't chat. I could, however, gather that there was some trouble-shooting going on. Unfortunately, the 63rd participant apparently caused Big Blue Button to crash. Oops.
Once again, remembering I was here to learn, I checked the Facebook group and saw that the live event had moved to Fuze. I logged on, using Chrome first this time, and got right in to the live event. This time I could chat, but not hear. I sent a quick note asking for help and someone quickly replied back with which button to push and I could both chat and hear. Voila! Success! I felt nearly as competent as my teen-aged son.
I saw another post about just how exciting it was that we could start the live event, crash it, and join another in only a matter of minutes, with many participants making the transition. Like that blogger, I tried to explain the rush of having it work to a non-MOOCing friend, and it was a little hard to explain. For me though, it is a great example to use with my fifth grade students. We can all learn from our mistakes, adapt, move on and have a great time learning. Thanks to all those that made it happen yesterday.