Dynamic cityscapes painted with extreme energy — posted on mymodernmet.com by Katie Hosmer; art by Van Tame

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My reflections on “MOOCs of Hazard” – a well-thought out, balanced article by Andrew Delbanco


From DSC: Below are my reflections on MOOCs of Hazard — from newrepublic.com by Andrew Delbanco — who asks:  Will online education dampen the college experience? Yes. Will it be worth it? Well…


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While I’m not sure that I agree with the idea that online education will dampen the college experience — and while I could point to some amazing capabilities that online education brings to the table in terms of true global exchanges — I’ll instead focus my comments on the following items:

 

1) Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are recent experiments — ones that will continue to change/morph into something else.
They are half-baked at best, but they should not be taken lightly. Christensen, Horn, Johnson are spot on with their theories of disruption here, especially as they relate to innovations occurring within the virtual/digital realm.  For example, the technologies behind IBM’s Watson could be mixed into the list of ingredients that will be used to develop MOOCs in the future.  It would be a very powerful, effective MOOC indeed if you could get the following parties/functionalities to the table:

  • IBM — to provide Watson like auto-curation/filtering capabilities, artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, as well as data mining/learning analytics expertise, joined by
  • Several highly-creative firms from the film/media/novel/storytelling industry, who would be further joined by
  • Experts from Human Computer Interaction (HCI)/user interface/user experience design teams, who would be further joined by
  • Programmers and interaction specialists from educational gaming endeavors (and from those who can design simulations), joined by
  • Instructional designers, joined by
  • The appropriate Subject Matter Experts who can be reached by the students as necessary, joined by
  • Those skilled in research and library services, joined by
  • Legal experts to assist with copyright issues, joined by
  • Other specialists in mobile learning,  3D, web development, database administration, animation, graphic design, musicians, etc.

It won’t be long before this type of powerful team gets pulled together — from some organizations(s) with deep pockets — and the content is interacted with and presented to us within our living rooms via connected/Smart TVs and via second screen devices/applications.

2) The benefits of MOOCs
  • For colleges/universities:
    • MOOCs offer some serious marketing horsepower (rather than sound pedagogical tools, at this point in time at least)
    • They are forcing higher ed to become much more innovative
    • They provide great opportunities to build one’s personalized learning networks, as they bring forth those colleagues who are interested in topic A, B, or C
    • They move us closer to team-based content creation and delivery
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  • For students:
    • They offer a much less expensive option to go exploring disciplines for themselves…to see if they enjoy (and/or are gifted in) topic A, B or C
    • They provide great opportunities to build one’s personalized learning networks, as they bring forth those colleagues who are interested in topic A, B, or C
    • They provide a chance to see what it’s like to learn about something in a digital/virtual manner

3)  The drawbacks of MOOCs:
  • MOOCs are not nearly the same thing as what has come to be known as “online learning” — at least in the higher ed industry. MOOCs do not yet offer what more “traditional” (can I say that?) online learning provides: Far more support and pedagogical/instructional design, instructor presence and dialog, student academic support services, advising, more student-to-student and student-to-faculty interaction, etc.
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  • MOOCs are like drinking from a firehose — there are too many blogs/RSS feeds, twitter feeds, websites, and other resources to review.

4) It would be wise for all of us to be involved with such experiments and have at least a subset of one’s college or university become much more nimble/responsive.

 

Also see:

Games grow up: Colleges recognize the power of gamification — from edtechmagazine.com by Jacquelyn Bengfort
Universities enliven education through the power of play.

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Schools are doing Education 1.0; talking about doing Education 2.0; when they should be planning Education 3.0 — from User Generated Education by Jackie Gerstein

Excerpt:

Education 3.0
Education 3.0 is based on the belief that content is freely and readily available. It is self-directed, interest-based learning where problem-solving, innovation and creativity drive education.

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Also see —  with a thanks going our to Kevin Corbett on this one:

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TheNewMindset-SimonMcKenzie-Jan2013

InDesign FX: How to create a puzzle with InDesign — from blog.lynda.com by Mike Rankin

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How to create a puzzle effect using InDesign

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Also see:

  • How to hook your reader from the very first page — from blog.lynda.com by Lisa Cron
    Excerpt:
    Think stories are just for entertainment? They’re not. Stories are simulations that allow us to vicariously experience problems we might someday face. Think of them as the world’s first virtual reality—minus the geeky visor. Story was more crucial to our evolution than opposable thumbs. All opposable thumbs did was let us hang on. Story told us what to hang on to.
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    The great feeling of enjoyment we get when a story grabs us is nature’s way of making sure we pay attention to the story.

VIDEO | The Educational Landscape in 50 Years — from the evoLLLution.com by The Khan Academy

Excerpt:

In this video, Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, a not-for-profit online education provider, shares his thoughts on what the educational landscape will look like in 50 years. By 2060, Khan predicts three major shifts in education: a change to the classroom model, a change to the credential model and a change in the role of the instructor.

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KhanAcademy-EducationIn60Years-March2013

From DSC:
Some reflections onHollywood meets higher ed — a thought-provoking post by Amanda Ripley

Excerpt:

But online classes are different than the in-person kind: Not only do they have a huge potential profit upside, given the ability to attract tens of thousands of students worldwide, but they are, at their best, performances. No one likes to say this out loud in academia, but it’s true: the most impactful MOOCs are also entertaining. The teacher does not need to be a singing, dancing, joke-telling maniac, but the teacher does need to be riveting, one way or another. The production quality needs to be high. Or the students will evaporate, clicking off to Facebook or Twitter or one of the many other online classes multiplying on the Internet.

 

From DSC:
I post this with a fair amount of hesitation, as mixing the words “higher ed” with Hollywood makes me very uneasy…but Amanda makes some good points in her posting and she highlights yet another potential disruption to the way things are:

 

creativelive-mardch2013

 

ClearSlide acquires SlideRocket to expand its rich presentation capabilities for sales teams — from ClearSlide.com — with special thanks going out to Mr. Cal Keen, Tech. Integration Specialist at Calvin College,  for the heads-up on these tools

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Founded in 2006 and with more than one million users, SlideRocket reinvented presentations by adding interactive capabilities like video, audio, rich media, and analytics in a hosted platform to elevate storytelling and deliver tangible results.

“SlideRocket has always been focused on helping teams communicate ideas more effectively,” said Chuck Dietrich, vice president and general manager, VMware. “Bringing SlideRocket’s creative presentation production capabilities to the ClearSlide platform gives our collective customers much more power through the full sales process, from content creation to closing the deal.

 

From DSC:
These tools might also benefit those in higher ed as well, as it’s all about the ability to craft a message using multiple kinds of media and to engage an audience with that message.  So we see here another example of tools that are helping develop/leverage digital literacy.  They also involved interactivity, analytics, and storytelling — things that those of us working within higher education (especially with hybrid and online-based learning) should be interested in.  (For those involved with K-12 and higher ed, note the need for creativity here.)

 

 

 

 

 

Or would we just fall asleep…hmm…but even then…

 

— from 5 things your office probably doesn’t support, but should

ArtStart-Feb2013

PBS LearningMedia Spotlight: Young Inventors, Designers & Innovative Thinkers
Spark your students’ curiosity in engineering and technology by introducing them to the designers, inventors, and clever thinkers featured in PBS LearningMedia. Use their stories to illustrate various themes of study like the engineering design process and the impact of technology. For free access to PBS LearningMedia, register today!

Designing a Wheelchair for Rugby
Grades 6-12 | Video | Inventions
See what happens when a U.S. Paralympic athlete challenges two teams of high school students to build an automated wheelchair. Use this segment to initiate a design challenge in your own classroom.

Wind Energy Fuels Jobs for Oklahoma Youth
Grades 6-13+ | Video | Innovations
How can your students affect the world around them? Use this video segment about wind energy to illustrate the real-world impact of an innovative idea.

Scientist Profile: Inventor
Grades 4-6 | Video | Inventions

Get your class excited about great ideas! Introduce them to Ryan Patterson, teen scientist and inventor of an electronic sign language translator glove.

Kid Designer: A Comfortable Cardboard Chair
Grades 3-12 | Video | Inventions

Introduce your class to this industrious young designer who demonstrates how to construct a sturdy chair out of cardboard.

A House for Teddy Bear
Grades K-2 | Video | Problem Solving

See these young learners engaged in problem solving and trial-and-error design! Consider replicating this project in your own classroom to reinforce lessons on design, construction, and experimentation.

Sid’s Amazing Invention
PreK-1 | Video | Problem Solving

Sid believes that he has invented the ultimate solution to putting away his toys, later to learn that his invention is actually a simple machine called a lever. Invite young learners to explore the function of a lever alongside Sid and his friends.

BBC News’ “What if?” section

BBCWhatIf-Feb2013

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