MOOCluhan: Using McLuhan to understand MOOCs — from by Mark Guzdial


“Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn’t know the first thing about either.” — Marshall McLuhan

 When I first heard this famous quote from McLuhan, I was insulted.  Surely, McLuhan must not appreciate high-quality education, that he considers it no better than mass-market education!  Now, I have a better appreciation for what that quote is saying, and I realize that what he’s saying is deep and important, and relates to what MOOCs are missing.

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Specialty classroom technologies — from

  • Kristy Chapman | Special Education Director | Union County | Board of Education, GA
  • Kyle Li | Full-time Game & Learning Instructor | School of Art, Media, and Technology | Parsons, The Newschool for Design, NY
  • Moses A. Ojeda | Principal (I.A.) | Thomas A. Edison Career & Technical Education High School, NY
  • Denise Spence | Magnet Lead Technology Teacher | Academy for Technology Excellence | Academy for Digital Excellence | Academy for Game Design and Programming Excellence | Dunbar High School, FL

Session was moderated by Tom Ryan, Ph.D. | Sr. Fellow, Center for Digital Education | Former CIO, Albuquerque Public Schools



Example slides:
























Converge-1-17-13-14 - zSpace is a revolutionary, immersive, interactive 3D environment for computing, creating, communication and entertainment.


Just look at the markets for their products:

  • Data Visualization
  • Education, Training & Simulation
  • Architecture, Engineering & the Geospatial Markets
  • Medicine & Science
  • Digital Arts & VFX
  • Gaming & Entertainment


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Ron Arad designs a 3D theater that immerses you in projection art

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In each game episode, you play as Dak, Sera, and young Hystorian Riq as they travel back in time to fix one of the Great Breaks. Use your Hystorian’s Guide to discover what has gone wrong in history. Then, the story continues as you explore the open environment and play mini games such as lock picking or white-water rafting. Along the way you will also complete side quests and speak with historical characters who will aid you in — or perhaps deter you from — your quest.

The Infinity Ring game boasts an immersive open-world environment in which players are free to explore a 3-D representation of sites around the globe and throughout time. The game is available on desktop computers. Coming soon for mobile and tablet devices.

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Scholastic goes global to promote its latest transmedia epic — from
infinity ring™ LAUNCHES WITH global promotional campaign
Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, education, and media company, today announces a massive worldwide campaign to promote INFINITY RING™, a new multi-platform time travel adventure series for children ages 8-12, launching on August 28th simultaneously in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand with “Book 1: A Mutiny in Time” by New York Times bestselling author James Dashner.  As the pioneering force behind the groundbreaking and international bestselling The 39 Clues® series, Scholastic expands its innovative multi-platform publishing program with Infinity Ring, a fully immersive reading experience which combines books, an interactive “Hystorian’s Guide” map, and an online game experience where readers travel back in time to “fix” history.


20 schools innovating with digital tools — from Getting Smart by Tom Vander Ark and Sarah Cargill
Hans Renman in Stockholm (@tankom_hans) asked on Twitter, “Do you know any US schools that are REALLY using digital tools in an INTERESTING way for communication, marketing, or learning?” That tweet kicked off a few days of snooping around. Here is the list of 20 we came up with. We look forward to your additions!

Christie Serves Up Content With Modular Multi-Touch Interactivity Kit and High Performance Software and Media Server

INFOCOMM/ORLANDO, Fla. – (June 15, 2011) –  Christie, a global visual technology company, today unveiled the newest members of its Christie® MicroTiles™ solutions family, the Christie® i-Kit touch interactivity kit, powered by Baanto™ ShadowSense™, and the Christie® JumpStart software and media server, both on technology preview at the Christie InfoComm booth #2127 through to June 17.


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Example shown above from Weill Cornell Medical College



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CloudTV app platform to take spotlight on two panels at The TV of Tomorrow Show —



SAN JOSE, CA (May 16, 2011) — Millions of screens today — and millions more by year’s end — will be available to TV app developers and content providers, according to remarks planned by ActiveVideo Networks™ executives for the TV of Tomorrow Show May 17 and 18 in San Francisco.

During the two-day conference at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, ActiveVideo executives will speak on the “write once, deploy everywhere” merits of cloud-based application creation and delivery on a pair of panels. John Callahan, CTO, will discuss “The Emerging Primacy of the App: The ‘Appification’ of TV and its Implications,” scheduled for Tuesday, May 17, from 3:15 to 4:15 pm; and Michael Taylor, senior vice president, business development will talk about “Envisioning Cable’s Converged Future,” on Wednesday, May 18, from 4:00 to 5:15 pm. The two executives will be joined on the panels by counterparts from PlayJam, Movl, Rovi, NDS, Ooyala, ZeeVee and other companies.


Spoke Diagram


Augmented reality on the ipad2: Top 5 uses and apps — from

1. Connecting Online and Offline Retail.


2. Rich Media Advertising – Everywhere.

3. Bridging the gap between print and online

4. Immersive gaming

5. Navigation & Tourism

A hugely powerful vision: A potent addition to our learning ecosystems of the future


Daniel Christian:
A Vision of Our Future Learning Ecosystems

In the near future, as the computer, the television, the telephone (and more) continues to converge, we will most likely enjoy even more powerful capabilities to conveniently create and share our content as well as participate in a global learning ecosystem — whether that be from within our homes and/or from within our schools, colleges, universities and businesses throughout the world.

We will be teachers and students at the same time — even within the same hour — with online-based learning exchanges taking place all over the virtual and physical world.  Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) — in the form of online-based tutors, instructors, teachers, and professors — will be available on demand. Even more powerful/accurate/helpful learning engines will be involved behind the scenes in delivering up personalized, customized learning — available 24x7x365.  Cloud-based learner profiles may enter the equation as well.

The chances for creativity,  innovation, and entrepreneurship that are coming will be mind-blowing! What employers will be looking for — and where they can look for it — may change as well.

What we know today as the “television” will most likely play a significant role in this learning ecosystem of the future. But it won’t be like the TV we’ve come to know. It will be much more interactive and will be aware of who is using it — and what that person is interested in learning about. Technologies/applications like Apple’s AirPlay will become more standard, allowing a person to move from device to device without missing a  beat. Transmedia storytellers will thrive in this environment!

Much of the professionally done content will be created by teams of specialists, including the publishers of educational content, and the in-house teams of specialists within colleges, universities, and corporations around the globe. Perhaps consortiums of colleges/universities will each contribute some of the content — more readily accepting previous coursework that was delivered via their consortium’s membership.

An additional thought regarding higher education and K-12 and their Smart Classrooms/Spaces:
For input devices…
The “chalkboards” of the future may be transparent, or they may be on top of a drawing board-sized table or they may be tablet-based. But whatever form they take and whatever is displayed upon them, the ability to annotate will be there; with the resulting graphics saved and instantly distributed. (Eventually, we may get to voice-controlled Smart Classrooms, but we have a ways to go in that area…)

Below are some of the graphics that capture a bit of what I’m seeing in my mind…and in our futures.

Alternatively available as a PowerPoint Presentation (audio forthcoming in a future version)














— from Daniel S. Christian | April 2011

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Addendum on 4-14-11:


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If you want to truly engage students, give up the reins — from Ewan McIntosh

During the final half of 2010, I asked more than 1,500 teachers around the globe two questions: what are your happiest memories from learning at school, and what are your least happy experiences?

When I do the “reveal” of what I think their answers will be, every workshop has a “but how did he know?” reaction. It’s more akin to an audience’s response to illusionist Derren Brown than to the beginning of a day of professional development.

For teachers’ answers are always the same. At the top is “making stuff”, then school trips, “feeling I’m making a contribution” and “following my own ideas”. Their least happy experiences are “a frustration at not understanding things”, “not having any help on hand” and “being bored”, mostly by “dull presentations”. “Not seeing why we had to do certain tasks” appeared in every continent.
Most of these educators agreed that the positive experiences they loved about school were too few, and were outnumbered by the “important but dull” parts of today’s schooling: delivering content, preparing for and doing exams.

But while a third of teachers generally remember “making stuff” as their most memorable and happy experience at school, we see few curricula where “making stuff” and letting students “follow their own ideas” makes up at least a third of the planned activity.

More here…

© 2024 | Daniel Christian