MOOC – From a MOOCer’s Perspective
As we continue our MOOC journey together, another MOOCer is our guest today to share with us his wisdom, experiences and passion about teaching, MOOCing, among other things. Well, without much ado, let’s welcome one cool educator from the Philippines, Sir Michael Mauricio!
- You are a high school teacher and at the same time a college instructor, right? Could you tell the difference between high schooler and college level student, attitude wise?
Attitude wise, maturity is a big factor. We expect a college student to be more responsible, independent, able to make wiser decisions than a high schooler. This can be obviously observed during class sessions, class performances, submission of outputs and projects, and the like.
- You have been into research for years, how do you rate from 1-10- where 10 being the highest- the attitude of students to research? Why?
It really depends on the group of students you are dealing with. Taking the senior high school students as an example, inclination is an important factor when doing research. In my experience, those who are in the academic strand are more interested in doing research. Seven (7) is justifiable. But for those who are in the TVL strand, it varies. For computer programming students, 8, for consumer electronics, home economics, computer system servicing, 4-5.
- Products of research could be innovation, intervention programs and the like, right? What are the innovations and or intervention programs have you “realized” or should I say, actualized in the field? And what are the impacts of such so far?
My research interests include mobile learning or m-learning, mobile assisted language learning, and learning autonomy. As an advocate of mobile integrated learning, I’ve seen how important it is to investigate on this area because I have learned from a lot of teachers I have interviewed how they perceived and were able to potentially use these promising devices to improve students’ learning outcomes. With the present take and stand of the “gods and goddesses” in the Department about these emerging devices which I consider as low-resource materials for teaching and learning, it strongly drives me to let them realize the inevitable future of education with the presence of these complex and promising devices for learning in-class and out-of-class.
- A researcher’s journey can either be challenging or what, right? So what have you experienced which could be memorable or meaningful to you as one dead-serious about the rigor of it?
Metaphorically, doing research is like travelling by train. Unlike other modes of transportation which are mainly about getting from point A to point B, what makes the journey memorable and meaningful is the ride where you get to meet new people, see scenic places, make friends, establish connections, and build communities. In every station that you pass through you receive awards and experience small victories which are worth celebrating. Because of research, I was able to travel and to present my works locally and internationally, met big names, made friends, and built networks.
- I heard you have been into massive open online courses or simply known as MOOCs, how did you get the virus of moocing a difference? Who initiated you to it?
I was just curious before about some FB posts of my classmate in masters which were about the “free” online course. Out of curiosity, I have personally messaged her and inquired about it. Because of her enticing invitation, I decided to try it. She told me to personally message Mr. Albert Navarra, a common friend who is also a graduate student of Philippine Normal University. Because I work in Bulacan, I was referred to a MOOC leader in the person of Ms. Alyanna Mae Lazaro Capiral. Because of my positive experiences in the first course I have taken, I continued taking other courses. I have already considered it a stress-relieving activity where you get to be productive for an hour or two in a day. In my experience, what’s really nice about MOOCing is that I was able to see meet passionate educators who selflessly offer their help for those who are eager to learn and improve professionally.
- Could you tell your most challenging experience with moocing? Do tell.
With the workload I have in school added to my responsibilities as a graduate student, making time for the ‘course” including meet-ups and LAC sessions is the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced as a MOOCer.
- How many courses have you taken up and what did you learn from those?
I was able to finish three courses: Professional Development for Teacher Trainers, English for Media Literacy, and Content-based Instruction. In general,I have learned much about content and pedagogy. With those three amazing courses, I was able to review some of the “somewhat forgotten” concepts and constructs in teaching. In addition, it also helped me crafting lessons relevant to our technology-driven learners.
- How important professional development is to an educator? Expound on that.
As they say, “Learning ends in grave.” Every day is a brand new day. For an educator “new things” always come his or her way. We should not only be ready to learn new things, we must be willing to learn them. I always end my talks with this statement, we can no longer TEACH the way we learn YESTERDAY but we have to LEARN how to teach TODAY. Professional development is a maintenance medicine an educator must never forget to take.
- Aside from moocing, doing research and teaching, what other hats are you wearing?
I consider serving people as one of the most fulfilling roles I’ve been doing. Through volunteering in community outreach programs, I have realized my purpose as an educator, a citizen, and as a person. Meeting peoples of different culture, psyche, and orientations taught me how to appreciate life in different angles using my own optics. Getting involved in volunteerism helped me differentiate “making a name” and “making a difference.
- Describe your journey as an educator in one word.
Wow! Huge thank you, Sir Michael for being such a good educator whom anybody could look up to. May your tribe increase!
Michael C. Mauricio is a senior high school teacher and the research coordinator of Taal High School under the Department of Education. Likewise, he is affiliated to Jesus is Lord Colleges Foundation (JILCF) Inc. as a part-time college faculty. He is a candidate for Master of Arts in Education with specialization in English Language Teaching at Philippine Normal University-Manila, Philippines. His research interests include mobile learning, mobile assisted language learning, autonomy in learning, and technology integrated language learning.