The FemTechNet DOCC, Water106, and Our Distributed EdTech Future

I love working on ideas and projects that no one else seems to be doing, but the best moments in my professional career have been when I’ve discovered that what I’m doing is not so original at all. Fresh off of an interview with Jim Groom, I’m reminded of that fateful moment in 2007 where I first bumped into Stephen Downes’ OLDaily newsletter and realized that the thinking I’d been doing on what an “Inverted LMS” looked like had already been thought through as a “Personal Learning Environment”. I also remember the moment when I started New Hampshire’s first blog dedicated exclusively to covering Congressional District Two’s race from a progressive standpoint — only to discover that in the same month two other people had had the same idea.

In both those cases the fact that many people were working on similar ideas separately was a sign that we all were plugged into something much greater. And so it’s with great excitement I stumble today on the FemTechNet DOCC running this fall, which looks a lot like ds106, independently discovered.


I’m going to dig into documents on the DOCC to see what they might have that could inform the design of Water106. I’m guessing the people running it already know of ds106, the original MOOCs, and UBC’s Latin American Literature Wikipedia Project, but in case they are as unaware of those things as I was of the DOCC, I’ve added links here.

(And incidentally, I’m not so much a fan of the acronym DOCC, but it’s a better name for this structure than MANIC)

4 thoughts on “The FemTechNet DOCC, Water106, and Our Distributed EdTech Future

  1. Mike, So cool to learn about these great projects, and yes, so like ours. We’ll be making a links page soon, so we can all keep track of each other. And, hey, what’s your beef with DOCC (actually curious!)

    • Re: “DOCC” — I think the same problem with MANIC, SPOC, etc — just acronym exhaustion. I like that you put “distributed” front and center, but wonder if the anti-acronym backlash will cause a lot of people to ignore this as “just another MOOC variant” thing.

      I guess I’m not sure what the alternative is. I liked “edupunk” as a term back in the day, more vibrant, less clinical than acronyms. More playful. I guess I’m still waiting for someone to come up with a term like that for this sort of thing? Maybe a task for your DOCC? I’ve been calling it “Loosely-coupled Classes” but that’s referencing stuff that is kind of esoteric, and probably as dry as DOCC etc.

      I really can’t overemphasize how happy I am to find your project. I plan to cite it incessantly as an example of the sort of thing Water106 is trying to do (with some differences, of course, but close enough).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s