Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I'm not sure whether Catrhy Davidson's description of MOOC as "Massive Open Online Courseware" is a deliberate commentary or an accidental oversight. I prefer to think it's the former, especially in the context of her denunciation of tech hyperbole. But in adition to criticizing technophilia she is equally harsh on technophobia. "Most of the technophobic responses to devices assume that school should be cordoned off from the real world," she writes, and they make claims about whether tech improves or hams students' grades. But "that's the wrong metric," she argues. "The purpose of education should not be better grades or a diploma. It should be the best possible preparation for thriving in a complex and changing world." And we should be focusing on improving practice. "The best pedagogical research we have reinforces the idea that learning in the classroom is most effective when it proceeds pretty much the way it does when we try to master something new outside of school: learning incrementally, being challenged, trying again." I'm in broad agreement with all this.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Dec 03, 2023 12:21 p.m.

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