MOOCs and online learning: An interview with Jack Welch  — from edudemic.com by Paul Glader

Excerpt:

WA – What do you think of this trend in Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs? Where is it going?

JW – Tom Friedman talked about it a few weeks ago (in the New York Times). It seems a little like the stigma associated with online learning, similar to online dating sites, is washing away. Every trend is going in that direction. We can give an MBA for $30,000 and you keep your job and are moving up in a company. Contrast that with leaving a job for two years and you lose $100,000 or whatever your salary is. You pay these exorbitant MBA costs for two years – $125,000. The economics are all going in the right direction for online education. It’s just as rigorous or more rigorous because you can’t just BS the classes. Everything is going in our direction. We can offer a rigorous MBA program while we make you a better leader. The theme of our school is we teach you on Tuesday and you put it into practice on Wednesday. In other MBA programs, you learn on Tuesday and, two years later, you put it to work.

From DSC:
I continue to wonder if and when corporate training and development programs/departments will shift their attention to two main things:
  • Helping employees build their own learning ecosystems — based upon each employee’s career goals, current/near-future positions, projects that they are working on, etc.
  • Creating MOOCs — and/or what MOOCs eventually morph into — for their own companies; then selecting the cream of the crop for an interview or an immediate job offer

 

Beyond the buzz, where are MOOCs really going? — from wired.com by Michael Horn and Clayton Christensen

Excerpt:

MOOCs can be much more than marketing and edutainment. We believe they are likely to evolve into a “scale business”: one that relies on the technology and data backbone of the medium to optimize and individualize learning opportunities for millions of students.

This is very different than simply putting a video of a professor lecturing online.

From DSC:
Some very frustrated reflections after reading:

Excerpt:

Right now, boys are falling out of the kindergarten through 12th grade educational pipeline in ways that we can hardly imagine.

 

This situation continues to remind me of the oil spill in the Gulf (2010), where valuable resources spilled into the water untapped — later causing some serious issues:
.

From DSC:
What are we doing?!!! We’ve watched the dropout rates grow — it doesn’t seem we’ve changed our strategies nearly enough! But the point that gets lost in this is that we will all pay for these broken strategies — and for generations to come!  It’s time to seriously move towards identifying and implementing some new goals.

What should the new goals look like? Here’s my take on at least a portion of a new vision for K-12 — and collegiate — education:

  • Help students identify their God-given gifts and then help them build up their own learning ecosystems to support the development of those gifts. Hook them up with resources that will develop students’ abilities and passions.
    .
  • Part of their learning ecosystems could be to help them enter into — and build up — communities of practice around subjects that they enjoy learning about. Those communities could be local, national, or international. (Also consider the creation of personalized learning agents, as these become more prevalent/powerful.)
    .
  • Do everything we can to make learning enjoyable and foster a love of learning — as we need lifelong learners these days.
    (It doesn’t help society much if students are dropping out of K-12 or if people struggle to make it through graduation — only to then harbor ill feelings towards learning/education in general for years to come.  Let’s greatly reduce the presence/usage of standardized tests — they’re killing us!  They don’t seem to be producing long-term positive results. I congratulate the recent group of teachers who refused to give their students such tests; and I greatly admire them for getting rid of a losing strategy.)

    .
  • Give students more choice, more control over what their learning looks like; let them take their own paths as much as possible (provide different ways to meet the same learning objective is one approach…but perhaps we need to think beyond/bigger than that. The concern/fear arises…but how will we manage this? That’s where a good share of our thinking should be focused; generating creative answers to that question.)
    .
  • Foster curiosity and wonder
    .
  • Provide cross-disciplinary assignments/opportunities
    .
  • Let students work on/try to resolve real issues in their communities
    .
  • Build up students’ appreciation of faith, hope, love, empathy, and a desire to make the world a better place. Provide ways that they can contribute.
    .
  • Let students experiment more — encourage failure.
    .

 

Defiance-FirstVideoGameTVShow-Feb2013

 

Excerpt:

It’s not unusual for a science fiction television show to spin off a video game. What is unusual is linking the show and the game together on an ongoing basis, with plot elements and characters from each crossing over to the other. In April, gaming company Trion Worlds and the Syfy cable television channel will unveil Defiance, the first such crossover massively multiplayer online game (MMO) and TV show.

 

From DSC:

Transmedia.

Multimedia.

Interactivity.

Participation.

Gamification.

Sounds like there must be something here for the next gen of learners — and learning from the living room.

 

 

Also see:

From DSC:
While I think MOOCs have a ways to go, I continue to support them because they are forcing higher ed to innovate and experiment more.  But the conversation continues to move away from traditional higher ed, as the changes — especially the prices — aren’t changing fast enough.

Besides President Obama’s repeated promptings for higher to respond and to become more cost effective — as well as his mentioning that the U.S. Government will be pursuing new methods of accreditation if the current institutions of higher ed don’t respond more significantly — here is yet another example of the conversation moving away from traditional higher ed.

I wonder…
How small/large is the window of time before traditional higher ed is moved into the “Have you driven a Ford lately?” mode…? 
It seems that it’s much harder to get customers to come back once they’ve lost their trust/patience/belief/support/etc. in an organization or institution.  As Ford has shown, it can be done, but my point is that there is danger in the status quo and broken business relationships can take a long time to heal — while opening up opportunities for others to step in (such as Toyota, Honda, and others in the case of the automotive industry).

Again, we see whether in higher ed, K-12, or in the corporate world, the key thing is to learn how to build one’s own learning ecosystem.

 

 

With thanks to Stephen Downes for mentioning the item below in his presentation here.

 

MyEducationPath-Feb2013

 

MyEducationPath2-Feb2013

 

MyEducationPathDSC-Feb2013

 

 

Other examples of the conversation moving away from traditional higher ed:

  • Educating the Future: The End of Mediocrity –by Rob Bencini
    Students facing uncertain future opportunities (but very certain debt loads) may increasingly turn away from private colleges and universities that offer little more than a diploma. Instead, they’ll seek more-affordable alternatives for higher education, both real and virtual.
  • The Half-Life of a College Education — from futuristspeaker.com by Thomas Frey
    Excerpt:
    6.) Expanding number of long tails courses – In much the same way “hit” television shows attract millions of viewers while niche TV shows are proliferating, far more niche courses will be developed as traditional college gatekeepers get circumvented.

 

Beyond voice recognition: It’s the age of intelligent systems — from forbes.com by Eric Savitz; with thanks to Steve Knode (steveknode.com) for posting this on his recent newsletter

Excerpt:

But the pace of innovation continues. Expect the current generation of virtual personal assistants to evolve into ubiquitous intelligent systems. These will communicate with people through voice, text, vision, touch and gestures and will factor in ambient information like location or motion to understand context, giving greater relevance of every interaction.

Here’s a look at some developments to watch in intelligent systems for 2013…

 

From DSC:
And I’ll bet they integrate into what MOOCs will morph into.

 

MOOCResearchRoundup-Weigel-Feb2013

 

.
Excerpt: (emphasis DSC)
.

Building on the success of the Stanford Online High School (OHS), OHSx will allow middle- and high-school students everywhere to engage in real-time, seminar-based online courses without being formally enrolled in the OHS. Students who successfully complete a course through OHSx will receive a Stanford University Online High School transcript reflecting their achievement.

We are fortunate that our first course will be “Introduction to Mathematical Thinking,” by Dr. Keith Devlin, whose distinguished career includes authoring numerous textbooks as well as a recurring presence as “the Math Guy” on National Public Radio.

This course was originally designed for undergraduates considering a mathematics major in college and has been previously offered to over 70,000 students using the Coursera platform. OHSx is offering this course to advanced high school juniors and seniors. The OHSx course will incorporate Dr. Devlin’s absorbing lectures and will include additional material including regular real-time video-conference seminars should be lead by a Stanford OHSx instructor.

Tagged with:  

Apple University hires another high-profile academic — from by Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Berkeley’s Morten Hansen, co-author of Jim Collins’ latest bestseller, joined in January

Excerpt:

FORTUNE — Apple University has always been something of a stealth operation. It was created as a kind of in-house MBA program by Steve Jobs, a self-taught business leader who made no secret of his distaste for conventional MBAs.

“We do want to create our own MBAs,” Jobs once said. “But in our own image.”

The idea was to somehow transfer to future generations of Apple (AAPL) executives the hard lessons he learned when he founded the company, lost the company, and brought it back to life.

He started big.

.

From DSC:
Again, this brings me back to the questions/thoughts:

  • If higher ed doesn’t address its shortcomings — at least in the eyes/perspectives of employers — will corporations take matters into their own hands? Will they create their own internal universities? Perhaps in the form of MOOCs…?
  • Alternatively, they might say, “Here’s $___; we’d like to have you go through this [digital] playlist of items, then come back and show me what you can do. Then, if appropriate,  let’s talk.”

Perhaps Apple is developing their own expertise on how all this runs…? Perhaps they are a piece of what I call “The Walmart of Education”  — a piece of more peoples’ learning ecosystems.

 

From DSC:
Below are some reflections after seeing these items:

Image1

 

 

  • Watson supercomputer goes to college, Revenge Of The Nerds style antics imminentnot an exemplary article from geekosystem.com, but the underlying topic has enormous implications
    Excerpt:
    …the team developing Watson is sending the computer to college, where it will bone up on coursework in English and math.

    While the original Watson will be staying put at the IBM research center it calls home, the hardware to run the program is being installed at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York, where researchers and grad students will be spend the next three years teaching Watson all they can while also hoping to learn more about how the software learns and make it more effective.

 

.

 

Watson-MOOCs-NewTypesCollaboration-DChristian-2-14-13

 

From DSC:
The current set of MOOCs are very powerful, but, like a bush that needs pruning, they can become unwieldy and hard to control.  Not only do the current set of MOOCs help me to see the importance of instructional design, but trying to drink from the firehose often presents problems (i.e. wading through thousands of tweets, hundreds of blog posts, etc.).  How can we still provide openness and yet provide people with better methods/tools for setting their desired level of drinking from this firehose? Tags are helpful, but for most people, they are not doing enough to filter/curate the content at this point.

Enter the technologies being developed in IBM’s Watson, Apple’s SIRI, or in Knewton’s product lines. End-user controllable setting might include:

  • Full throttle — like current form of MOOCs — thousands of tweets, hundreds of blog posts, etc.
  • IBM Watson-enabled curation/filtering only — each individual adjusts how many items they want to see in the various portions of the interface (see above); these settings control how many items and/or streams of content get presented to you

The ideas involving learning agents, artificial intelligence, intelligent tutoring, intelligent systems and more seem to get roped in here…hmm…just thinking out loud and sharing potentially-useful ideas.

 

YouTube another MOOP (Massive Open Online Pedagogy) Learning will not be televised, it will be digitised.  — from Donald Clark

and/or

More pedagogic change in 10 years than last 1000 years: Donald Clark at TEDxGlasgow

Some notes I took:

Lecture capture:

  • It’s dumb not to record lectures
  • Have to give more than 1 chance to hear a piece of content
  • Repeated access to content matters

Khan Academy:

  • 2800 videos;110 million viewed on YouTube
  • Short chunks of information
  • Flipped classroom

Sebastian Thrun

  • Flipped classroom

Social media

  • Scalable
  • Accessible
  • Has already changed the world of education forever

 

CollegeScorecard-2-13-13

 

Also see:

On notice, again — from insidehighered.com by Libby A. Nelson

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday night called for major changes to the criteria accreditors use to evaluate colleges, asking Congress to either require accreditors to take college prices and educational value into account or to create an alternative system based on “performance and results.Either could mark a significant shift in how the federal government judges higher education quality and eligibility for financial aid programs.

 

From DSC:

  • This speaks directly to higher ed’s ability — or inability — to stay relevant, be responsive, and to reinvent itself.
    .
  • Accreditation teams should include many others who do not work for — nor are in any way connected to — a current institution of higher education.
    .
  • If higher ed can’t respond, the conversation will continue to move away from traditional pathways/institutions and people will find their own ways of getting ahead/surviving.

 

 

Your Massively Open Offline College Is Broken — by Clay Shirky

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

This is the background to the entire conversation around higher education: Things that can’t last don’t. This is why MOOCs matter. Not because distance learning is some big new thing or because online lectures are a solution to all our problems, but because they’ve come along at a time when students and parents are willing to ask themselves, “Isn’t there some other way to do this?”

MOOCs are a lightning strike on a rotten tree. Most stories have focused on the lightning, on MOOCs as the flashy new thing. I want to talk about the tree.

Imagine picking a thousand students at random from among our institutions of higher education. Now imagine unpicking everyone at one of US News‘ Top 100 liberal arts colleges or universities. You’d expel anyone from the Ivy League, Stanford, MIT. Anyone from from Emory or Rice. Anyone from Vanderbilt, Clemson, Drexel. Anyone from the famously good state schools—UMass, Virginia, the California universities. After ejecting those students from your group, how many of the original thousand would be left?

About 900.

 

graphs

 

 

 

From DSC:
Houston, we have a problem.

College branding: The tipping point — from forbes.com by Roger Dooley

Excerpt:

Change is coming to this market. While there are multiple issues of increasing importance to schools, two stand out as major game-changers.

 


From DSC:
Important notes for the boards throughout higher education to consider:


Your institution can’t increase tuition by one dime next year. If you do, you will become more and more vulnerable to being disrupted. Instead, work very hard to go in the exact opposite direction. Find ways to discount tuition by 50% or more — that is, if you want to stay in business.

Sounds like the scene in Apollo 13, doesn’t it? It is. (i.e. as Tom Hanks character is trying to get back to Earth and has very little to do it with. The engineers back in the United States are called upon to “do the impossible.”)

Some possibilities:

  • Pick your business partners and begin pooling resources and forming stronger consortia. Aim to reduce operating expenses, share the production of high-quality/interactive online courses, and create new streams of income. Experimentation will be key.
  • Work with IBM, Apple, Knewton and the like to create/integrate artificial intelligence into your LMS/CMS in order to handle 80% of the questions/learning issues. (Most likely, the future of MOOCs involves this very sort of thing.)
  • Find ways to create shorter courses/modules and offer them via online-based exchanges/marketplaces.  But something’s bothering me with this one..perhaps we won’t have the time to develop high-quality, interactive, multimedia-based courses…are things moving too fast?
  • Find ways to develop and offer subscription-based streams of content


 

NASA hosts its first Google+ Hangout connecting with space station— from nasa.gov

Excerpt:

WASHINGTON — NASA will host its first Google+ Hangout live with the International Space Station from 11 a.m. to noon EST, Friday, Feb. 22. This event will connect NASA’s social media followers with astronauts on the ground and living and working aboard the laboratory orbiting 240 miles above Earth.

From DSC:
Talk about some serious communications!

The words “mini MOOC” come to my mind…

 

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