by Stephen Downes
Oct 13, 2015
Australia moves backwards from online apprenticeship training
online learning and distance education resources,
Tony Bates points to a problem in Australia. He writes, "the Australian Federal government has recently shut down a two year e-learning apprenticeship program which had doubled the completion rate to 93%. Instead, the Australian government has introduced a new program that reverts to the previous model by removing the online component and now requiring apprentices to use a printed textbook." It's not this so much (though this certainly is a loss for Australia) but the pattern this represents. We used to hear about innovations in online learning from Ausralia all the time. Now, not so much. I wish I knew why.
Of MOOCs and Men
Inside Higher Ed,
Leaving aside the question of whether MOOCs work as educational delivery systems, the more interesting question is this: "Can MOOCs transform students as people?" Teachers can actually see this transformation in their physical classrooms, writes Akiba Covitz. What about online? The typical chat room is "a technology solution that comes from the basic human need to connect and from the basic human quality of empathy—all things that MOOC learners, and perhaps all students, want," writes Covitz. And "The students do not perceive these taped professors as fully human or at least as fully present." Maybe these are serious issues. In the end, though, the article comes sounding like a shill for "Shindig and its video chat sistren."
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