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The MOOC movement is not an indicator of educational evolution

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. The attention drowns out two truly significant trends in progressive education: do-it-yourself labs and peer-to-peer exchanges. 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. Related:  Education & Enseignement : Perspectives et évolutions majeures

Size Isn't Everything - The Chronicle Review By Cathy N. Davidson James Yang for The Chronicle Review My reading material to and from London recently for the annual open-source programming event known as Mozfest, or the Mozilla Festival, included two glossy magazines focusing on the future of education: the November 19 cover story in Forbes and the entire November issue of Wired UK, an offshoot of the American magazine. Should educators be delighted by this unexpected attention—or very, very worried? A little of both. Let's look at Wired UK first. Featured are both Negroponte 1.0, the editorial that launched Wired in 1993, and the new Negroponte 2.0. Given that such 20/20 foresight is rare, it is worth paying attention to Negroponte 2.0. He also still maintains a position he stated long ago: "Computers are not about computing, but everyday life." If you are a traditional educator, you should be scared. So what's different in 2.0? "Educational reform" is also on the lips of many college presidents and policy makers these days.

Comment réinventer l’éducation avec le numérique ? At this year’s Futur en Seine digital festival in Paris, Econocom presented the “classroom of the future” , a four-day workshop where visitors could experiment with digital text books, digital whiteboards and tablets, technology which is set to revolutionise teaching as we know it all over the world. Yet the central question remains how to use this new technology to impart knowledge? How to use digital tools to reinvent teaching methods and better address both teachers and students’ needs? Here’s an insight into how digital technology is changing education and the advantages it can bring. Photo ©Benjamin Boccas Are schools lagging behind the digital revolution? Schoolchildren sitting their secondary school diplomas this year will have seen the birth of Wikipedia in 2001, Facebook in 2004, Youtube in 2005, Twitter in 2006, Instagram in 2010, not to mention the explosion of video games, laptops, smartphones and tablets in a hyper-connected world. Digital in the classroom: how does it work?

Coursera - the Key to Higher Education Coursera offers free college courses from many top-notch universities from around the globe. Their goal is to make higher education available on a massive scale. Though there are doubtlessly as many stories as there are students, this is my story. I never thought I would have the opportunity to experience higher education, and certainly not in such a format as Coursera offers. Misdiagnosed as 'Emotionally Disturbed' As a child, I had difficulties in school. My parents were horrified when I was diagnosed as 'emotionally disturbed.' I spent a lot of time feeling bad about my status as a college dropout. Coursera - a free education? Not only were the courses free, but they were being offered by quality universities. Introduction to Sociology, and College Life The first class to start was Introduction to Sociology. I even participated in the discussion boards -- socializing in a way that would have never been possible for me in a live setting.

Rethinking Higher Ed Open Online Learning - US News & World Report Karen Symms Gallagher is dean of the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. With the rush of pronouncements, you'd think Higher Ed 2.0 is here, all online, all the time. Brick-and-mortar and ivy are passé. Not so fast. It's worth decoding what's out there and what isn't. Professors at MIT, Stanford, and Harvard and many fine academic minds have put thousands of top-notch college courses online. [Read the U.S. Logging on to these lectures is often like watching through a one-way mirror—albeit for free and, say, with 15,000 classmates. I can't help thinking that the massive open online course explosion so far is a bigger, better delivery system of The Great Courses, which my husband and I have enjoyed for years. Some open online courses award students a certificate of participation, an academic currency without much heft in today's job market. [See the U.S. But that's not what worries me about open online courses. [Read the U.S.

Adieu diplômes, voici les badges Recevez nos newsletters : C’est encore expérimental. Mais les grandes universités américaines envisagent de délivrer des badges de compétences aux étudiants qui suivent leurs formations en ligne gratuite. Avec l’éducation en ligne, il est désormais possible de suivre des formations dans plusieurs établissements en même temps. Un cours de physique au MIT par-ci, un cours d’histoire à Stanford par-là, et pourquoi pas un cours d’informatique à Harvard pour finir, et tout ça gratuitement! Mais les diplômes étant conçus pour sanctionner un cursus précis, comment permettre aux étudiants de valoriser les compétences ainsi acquises? Délivrés sous forme électronique, ces badges prennent la forme d’un petit logo symbolisant la compétence développée. Et les avantages des badges ne s’arrêtent pas là! Les entreprises comment déjà à s’y intéresser. De son côté la fondation Mozilla, à l’origine du navigateur web Firefox, a mis en place le système permettant de les gérer.

Classroom of 2020: The future is very different than you think Imagine: you wake up at 9:23 a.m. one September morning in 2020. Your alarm failed to sound and now you’re late. But don’t fret. Your commute to school consists of carrying your laptop to the kitchen table. No need for a back-to-school outfit, as you settle in wearing pyjamas. When you load today’s lecture video you don’t see your professor; instead, a classmate appears on the screen. Your classmate uses the word “atavistic” and you pause the lecture to look it up. After a while, your eyes wander to the window. If the above seems like a far-fetched prediction of what a classroom might be like in 2020, you’re behind the times. This is the brave new world of higher education, where students teach professors, technology enables digital note-passing and online courses enroll thousands of students. In an era when a student can access more information through her cellphone than a professor can consume in a lifetime, is the university as a physical place obsolete?

Jump Off the Coursera Bandwagon - Commentary By Doug Guthrie Like lemmings, too many American colleges are mindlessly rushing out to find a way to deliver online education, and more and more often they are choosing Coursera. The company, founded this year by two Stanford University computer scientists, has already enrolled more than two million students, has engaged 33 academic institutions as partners, and is offering more than 200 free massive open online courses, or MOOC's. A college's decision to jump on the Coursera bandwagon is aided—and eased—by knowing that academic heavyweights like Harvard, Stanford, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are already on board. As one college president described it to The New York Times, "You're known by your partners, and this is the College of Cardinals." In our haste to join the academic alphas, many of us are forgoing the reflection necessary to enter this new medium. Coursera and its devotees simply have it wrong. The recent history of the newspaper industry is instructive.

Why Learning Should Be Messy The following is an excerpt of One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School, by 17-year-old Nikhil Goyal, a senior at Syosset High School in Woodbury, New York. Can creativity be taught? Absolutely. “Today’s problems — from global poverty to climate change to the obesity epidemic — are more interconnected and intertwined than ever before and they can’t possibly be solved in the academic or research ‘silos’ of the twentieth century,” writes Frank Moss, the former head of the M.I.T. Schools cannot just simply add a “creativity hour” and call it a day. Principal at High Tech High, an innovative, project-based learning school in San Diego, California, Larry Rosenstock, points out, “If you were to hike the Appalachian trail, which would take you months and months, and you reflect upon it, you do not divide the experience into the historic, scientific, mathematic, and English aspects of it. The first phase of the arc is called exploration. Similarly, the M.I.T. Related

Coursera will profit from “Free” courses, competition heats up. Are MOOC’s really about FREE education? Coursera reveals how it intends to generate revenue off of “freely” available MOOC’s. In fact, many MOOC companies are launching business models where students and institutions will pay.Competition heats up between MOOC’s and traditional LMS companies. To be clear Coursera, Udacity and others are simply learning management systems bundled with high quality content. In fact “It’s an LMS [learning management system] that’s wrapped around a very high-quality course,” says Daphne Koller, a Coursera co-founder. According to contract documents, Coursera will pay the universities 6 to 15 percent of revenues, which will be determined on a per-course basis and dependent upon the duration of the course, the number and quality of assessments. So what’s the MOOC model? There are 8 possible monetization strategies that MOOC providers like Coursera, or Learning Management System providers could adopt:

The future of MOOCs MOOCs get a bad rap. Dismissed as prescriptive, or teacher-centric, or unsocial, or something else, it’s like a badge of honour to espouse why you dislike MOOCs. Despite their pedagogical flaws, however, MOOCs provide unprecedented access to quality content for millions of learners. It’s all very well for Apple-owning, organic-buying professionals to cast aspersions, but consider the girl in Pakistan who’s too scared to set foot in a classroom. Consider the teenager in central Australia whose school has only one teacher. Don’t all these people deserve a better education? Sure, the pedagogy may not be perfect, but the alternative is much worse. MOOC proponent George Siemens distinguishes between two types of MOOC: the xMOOC and the cMOOC. The former is the subject of such disdain. In contrast, the latter leverages the connectedness of the participants. The cMOOC’s participant is active whereas the xMOOC’s participant is passive. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Studying on campus will become a status symbol.

Duolingo Is a Crowdsourced Translation Service that Teaches French Learning a new language is tedious and demands a lot of practice. Luis von Ahn doesn’t want all that effort to be wasted. In fact, it might be a gold mine. Von Ahn, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, is the co-creator of Duolingo, a free language-­learning site that turns students into an online workforce. It’s clever stuff: an education that pays for itself. Duolingo, which launched in June, has raised $18.3 million in venture funding (see “Startup Has Language Learners Translating the Web”). The company is going up against popular language software such as Rosetta Stone (itself a less costly alternative to in-person lessons). “Most language-learning software providers have no incentive for you to learn,” he says. That’s why the company’s 20 employees in Pittsburgh spend most of their time getting the software to teach better. Multiple students translate the same sentence; software compares those results to settle on a final translation.

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