Could a MOOCI Contribute to the Education of the World’s Most Impoverished Children?

John Connell, Weblog, Jan 09, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Let's map out the core dilemma that produces the idea (quoting from the text):

  • good-quality teaching should be central to good educational provision, and most especially for the education of young children
  • there is a massive shortage of good-quality teachers across the developing world

OK, so do MOOCs here here? Maybe, but John Connell writes, "I, for one, am less sure that the course-ness of the con­cept has to be a given.... so many of them have no access to good teach­ing, I can’t but help won­der how the MOOC might be taken, reshaped, and made into some­thing that could begin to ame­lio­rate some of the worst effects of that gen­er­ally awful situation. I have problems with this article because it really misconstrues MOOCs as "a lin­ear, struc­tured, com­pre­hen­si­ble process in which ideas or con­cepts or infor­ma­tion are intro­duced, dis­cussed, dis­sected," etc. I get what he wants - we've been talking about it here for years under the heading 'personal learning environment'. But I think he still wants it 'supervised' and 'safe' - hence, 'classroom'.

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