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Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2012: MOOCs

Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2012: MOOCs
Part 5 of my Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2012 series The Year of the MOOC Massive Open Online Courses. MOOCs. This was, without a doubt, the most important and talked-about trend in education technology this year. And oh man, did we talk about it. In retrospect, it’s not surprising that 2012 was dominated by MOOCs as the trend started to really pick up in late 2011 with the huge enrollment in the three computer science courses that Stanford offered for free online during the Fall semester, along with the announcement of MITx in December. Who cares what Cormier thinks and predicts? January: Googler and Stanford professor (and professor for the university’s massive AI class) Sebastian Thrun announces he’s leaving Stanford to launch Udacity, his own online learning startup. February: MITx opens for enrollment. April: Stanford professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller (also involved with Stanford’s fall 2011 MOOCs) officially launch their online learning startup Coursera. May: June: July: August: September: Related:  MOOC Articles

Google's Open Course Builder: A Giant Leap into 21st Century Online Learning "Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." -- About Google Google is the most powerful nonhuman teacher ever known to actual humans. Implicitly and ceaselessly, Google performs formative assessments by collecting the following data: the content, genre and media that interests you most; when and for how long you access your external cloud brain; what your hobbies and routines are; with whom you work and communicate; who will get your November vote; and whether you prefer invigorating clean mint or enamel renewal toothpaste. You Are Now Entering the Learning Management System Months ago, Google entered the massive open online course (MOOC) space by introducing the free Power Searching with Google course to 150 thousand self-enrolled students (shocker: Google is not particularly concerned with enhancing your use of dozens of alternative search engines). Course Organization Chart for Google's Open Course Builder Credit: Google

» Napster, Udacity, and the Academy Clay Shirky Fifteen years ago, a research group called The Fraunhofer Institute announced a new digital format for compressing movie files. This wasn’t a terribly momentous invention, but it did have one interesting side effect: Fraunhofer also had to figure out how to compress the soundtrack. The result was the Motion Picture Experts Group Format 1, Audio Layer III, a format you know and love, though only by its acronym, MP3. The recording industry concluded this new audio format would be no threat, because quality mattered most. Who would listen to an MP3 when they could buy a better-sounding CD at the record store? Then Napster launched, and quickly became the fastest-growing piece of software in history. If Napster had only been about free access, control of legal distribution of music would then have returned the record labels. How did the recording industry win the battle but lose the war? The people in the music industry weren’t stupid, of course. But who faces that choice?

MOOCs and Pedagogy: Teacher-Centered, Student-Centered, and Hybrids In writing about all of the hype surrounding MOOCs, I saw this photo entitled “University Classroom of the Future.” From instructional television in the 1950s through updated versions of “distance education, “a professor professing in front of a camera is familiar and surely will dominate many of the newly established platforms (e.g., Coursera, Udacity, edX). Whether it will be the “University Classroom of the Future,” I cannot say for sure. The prevailing version of MOOCs offers traditional, technology-enriched teacher-centered instruction, that is, lecturing to large groups of people, asking occasional questions, online discussion sections, and multiple-choice questions on exams. These courses, in the words of George Siemens, a Canadian professor at Athabasca University–Canada’s Open University–who started an early version of MOOC in 2008, duplicate knowledge for learners who then replicate that knowledge. There are other ways of teaching these courses, however. Again, George Siemens:

How to Succeed in a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) by Apostolos Koutropoulos & Rebecca J. Hogue “MOOCs provide a new methodology and modality for teaching and learning. This newness does pose some problems for learners, but also provides for exciting new possibilities. MOOCs require learners to be more proactive in their education and in building their personal learning networks (PLNs). Everyone can be successful in a MOOC, provided that certain steps are taken and strategies devised before, during, and after a MOOC.” In the past couple of years, massive online open courses (MOOCs) have become a trend among many members of the educational online community. The course Connectivism and Connective Knowledge (CCK), by Stephen Downes, has been offered at least three times since 2008, and additional MOOCs have been offered that cater to a variety of learning topics including digital storytelling, mobile learning (mLearning), learning analytics, the future of education, and instructional ideas for online success, just to name a few. The structure and design of each MOOC varies. Questions

Autistic Students Make Music Using iPad Apps (WATCH) The first time you listen to Ryan Rodriguez, Denzel Jackson and Jasmine Latham's music, you might think they sound like any high school band. But the three autistic musicians, along with the rest of their classmates, use a special learning technique and perform on their iPads. The innovative new music program comes out of P177Q, a school for special needs students in Queens, New York. Teacher Adam Goldberg integrated iPads into his class as a way of getting around the challenging, technical aspects of traditional instruments and allowing students to focus on creating music. "Right away, these students are learning to work together, they're learning to share, and cooperate, and to be like a team, because that's really what's going on when people play music -- it's team work," he told Fox News. Goldberg's class performed a challenging jazz song for the reporters, followed by free-styling their own compositions. Are you inspired by the musicians of P177Q?

This could be huge... Moocs are already big - in reach and in hype - and are predicted to explode. Zoë Corbyn checks in to learn if they are more than just a novelty and to find out what it’s like to teach a class of 38,000 Kristin Sainani, clinical assistant professor in health policy at Stanford University, has just finished teaching her most popular course ever. But its popularity was far beyond the scale of a class of several hundred students, with seminar rooms and lecture theatres bursting at the seams. The take-up was off the charts. More than 38,000 students scattered across the globe signed up to take her online course, “Writing in the Sciences”, which aims to help scientists become better writers. Over eight weeks, the students took part via short online video lectures, discussion forums, automated quizzes and assignments graded by peers. So what attracts academics to experiment with the model? Second, creating a Mooc would help her to “flip the classroom” in her traditional teaching on campus.

Open Online Courses: Higher Education of the Future? - Techonomy By Eric Rabkin One instructor’s firsthand look behind the scenes of the movement offering online education to the masses. I am “teaching” a MOOC, one of those massive, open, online courses through which Coursera and, more recently, edX offer people around the globe challenging learning experiences through a simple internet connection: video mini-lectures, machine-graded problem sets in some courses, peer-evaluated essays in others, discussion boards, and more. There’s no cost or credit for the “students” yet, but could this point the way to the “schools” of the future? I would guess that in forty-two years of on-campus teaching at the University of Michigan I have worked with between 12,000 and 20,000 students. As soon as most humanities colleagues hear about this course, their first response is, “Good luck grading all those essays.” These people also educate me. I feel a genuine connection with these people as, it seems, some feel with me, just as one does in a traditional classroom.

Palm Sounds The MOOC movement is not an indicator of educational evolution Somehow, recently, a lot of people have taken an interest in the broadcast of canned educational materials, and this practice — under a term that proponents and detractors have settled on, massive open online course (MOOC) — is getting a publicity surge. I know that the series of online classes offered by Stanford proved to be extraordinarily popular, leading to the foundation of Udacity and a number of other companies. But I wish people would stop getting so excited over this transitional technology. In the current opinion torrent, Clay Shirky treats MOOCs in a recent article, and Joseph E. There’s a popular metaphor for this early stage of innovation: we look back to the time when film-makers made the first moving pictures with professional performers by setting up cameras before stages in theaters. Two more appealing trends are already big. Fundamentally, DIY is a way to capture the theory of learning by doing, which goes back at least to John Dewey at the turn of the 20th century.

What You Need to Know About MOOC's - Technology We'll be updating this page regularly.Please check back for updates. Call it the year of the mega-class. Colleges and professors have rushed to try a new form of online teaching known as MOOCs—short for "massive open online courses." The courses raise questions about the future of teaching, the value of a degree, and the effect technology will have on how colleges operate. Struggling to make sense of it all? On this page you’ll find highlights from The Chronicle's coverage of MOOCs. If you'd like to learn more about MOOCs in a condensed format, try reading "Beyond the MOOC Hype: A Guide to Higher Education's High-Tech Disruption," a new e-book by The Chronicle's technology editor. What are MOOCs? MOOCs are classes that are taught online to large numbers of students, with minimal involvement by professors. Why all the hype? Advocates of MOOCs have big ambitions, and that makes some college leaders nervous. These are like OpenCourseWare projects, right? Sort of. Who are the major players? edX

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