The End of the (MOOC) World is Nigh

Matt Crosslin, ProPublica, Mar 01, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I expect more of this sort of article in the months to come. There is an intuitive appeal to the argument. "Anyone remember Second Life?" asks Matt Crosslin. I certainly do - and I remember the pushback when I said (in 2007) that Second Life had no future. "When a tool or concept gets labeled disruptive before it actually disrupts anything," says Crosslin, "it more often than not dies out." OK. But to hearken back to my Second Life talk, here's what survives: software that features distributed ownership, open source, non-commercial, diverse and democratic, a place where we create our own worlds, where we can visit freely from place to place, and where we can create our own learning commons. Those parts of MOOCs that are closed, commercial and proprietary will indeed die off. And yes, the media hype will certainly fade; that's just the nature of media. But the original concept - massive, open, online learning - will survive, and will continue to be disruptive.

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