Annotating off the leash

For the final annotation that I was required to do for my course this semester, we were asked to reflect on HOW we chose our topic.

For me, my topic on MOOCs came from some reflection on some course materials assigned this week, plus trends I’ve noticed in the last few years. I’ve heard some talk about MOOCs “threatening universities’ hold on higher education,” although it seems like most everyone agrees on that one that universities aren’t going anywhere. After I watched the Jesse Stommel video/cruised his website on hybrid pedagogy, I got thinking about MOOCs a little more and got curious on what is being said about MOOCs in K-12.

I had a couple other ideas, like “playful learning” and teaching coding (even for kids), but I landed on MOOCs because I thought it was most related to Information Literacy and could complement what we’ve already talked about. Not necessarily a lack, but an extension!

I liked the freedom of sharing articles of our choice (mostly because I LOVE sharing articles–this is my primary use of Twitter, after all), but to be honest, the process of writing annotations doesn’t feel especially useful to me anymore. Four out of the five of the library science courses I’ve taken have included a significant annotation requirement. Obviously, annotations are a VITAL skill for librarians-in-training, but I feel like I get the point. (It’s sort of like being asked to do group project after group project–I get it, we’ll have to collaborate in the real world. But actually, I’m already not bad at it in the real world.) It’s just getting a little old–not that my fatigue with these exercises will prevent me from busting it the next time I’m assigned one. I always do.

I think searching for annotations is good for your information literacy skills, but also your reference/online search skills. With both of those areas, the main way to improve anyway is with practice!

Annotation: MOOCs in K-12

Locke, M. (2013). MOOC: Will these four letters change K-12? Scholastic Adminstr@tor, Summer 2013. Retrieved December 8, 2013, from

This article describes the potential of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, being used in K-12 education They could be used for SAT prep or for schools that struggle to find instructors to lead an advanced course like AP Calculus. Unfortunately, cheating is hard to regulate and MOOCs also lack the relationship/teacher contact element that can be so important to younger learners. The author reviews advantages and disadvantages of the tool, but largely concludes that MOOCs could be useful as a supplement to the structures already in place. The article provides a succinct review of the possible impact and development of MOOCs in K-12 education and references a couple innovators in the field worth investigating.