July 8, 2013
Stephen Downes, November 14, 1999.
The conceptual leap which must be taken - which will be taken first by potential students, and only later by established institutions - is that the traditional gap which exists between learning and practise must be transcended.
MIT LINC 2013: ‘Consistent but Stupid’
educational technology & change,
July 8, 2013
Fairly comprehensive coverage of the The Sixth Conference of MIT’s Learning International Networks Consortium (LINC) by Jim Shimabukuro. The morning session, “Four Perspectives on MOOCs,” features a session on MOOCs featuring four speakers whop are well-known but only on the periphry or recent converts to the world of MOOCs. The "Emperor's clothes" moment comes from The Man in Blue who asks (of the crowd and speakers), "Why are we here?" I think I could answer that, but the best the speakers manage is, "There are people watching us on the internet ... Are they getting the same experience as being here?"Which is essentially the same as asking "Are the people reading the newspaper getting the same experience as the people in the war the newspaper is covering?" And - obviously not. But that's hardly the point. It's not about sameness of experience, it's about using the in-person forum to create the online experience, the way a live studio audience makes The Big Bang Theory better.
A University's Offer of Credit for a MOOC Gets No Takers
The Chronicle of Higher Education,
July 8, 2013
You can almost feel the glee in this Chronicle article as it reports on the failure of a plan to offer credit via an $89 MOOC-related exam for a course that usually costs $1050. But really, we shouldn't be surprised. The credit isn't transferable - you'd have to finish your degree at Colorado State University-Global Campus (where the courses cost north of $1000). The same article reports on another failure, as no students have approached the Council of Adult and Experiential Learning, which "helps adult students assemble evidence of outside-the-classroom learning into portfolios that can be redeemed for credit at some colleges." Again, no students have applied. But then again, "The council has not yet advertised its services directly to MOOC students."
Death of the textbook - and the 50-pound bookbag
USA Today, CNBC,
July 6, 2013
Good coverage documenting what will likely be the complete phasing oput of the textbook over the next five years. This will have a huge impact. "Textbook sales, for both higher education and K-12, will reach an estimated $13.7 billion in the U.S. this year, according to Outsell, a research firm." This market will diosappear; "The late Steve Jobs had his eye on textbooks, calling the industry 'ripe for digital destruction' in Walter Isaacson's biography." Publishers are scrambling to adapt. "'Textbooks are going to remain a key part of learning. They just need to go digital, become more interactive and they need more analytics,' said Osman Rashid, co-founder and CEO of Kno,"
Lessons from a mooc: learning is not a competition
July 6, 2013
One of the beautiful things about MOOCs - all MOOCs - is the way they are changing the game in learning. Here is a wonderful example of this: "I have had the overwhelming realisation," writes Frances Elizabeth, "that learning, or more specifically university-level education, need not be competitive... how on earth I could compare myself to 100,000 people. How will I know where I fall in the rankings? How can I know which end of the scale I lie? The answer is I won’t, I can’t – and that’s not the point of the course." Education without competition? Of course! Enter the age opf cooperation!
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