Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

The New York Times ran a large spread on the MOOC over the weeke-end which I suppose I should mention here, though I don't know why I bother. After all, the main point of this article is to tell us that "Coursera, Udacity and edX are defining the form as they develop their brands." I don't think they are. I see them commercializing and playing the media, but I don't see them defining anything new. Perhaps that's just my perspective; no doubt what is commonplace to me amazes NY Times readers.

But I'll say it here and leave it for now: "Almost 3K words in this NYT piece on MOOCs, but couldn’t spare a single one to mention Siemens, Downes, Couros, Cormier… Did you recognize any of those names? They’re the people who actually invented massive open online courses (MOOCs)". So why rewrite the history of MOOCs? Greg Wilson writes that it's because we, the inventors of MOOCs, "take the 'open' part of 'MOOC' seriously [and] actually want to let the people who are learning decide what to learn... That makes their experiments a lot less interesting to 'the World’s Business Leaders' than the Khan Academy, Coursera, Udacity, and other pseudo-MOOCs that let you watch professors chosen by someone else." Yeah, I'd be upset, but these days, I'm simply happy to be employed.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 2:05 p.m.