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
      .
  • 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.
    .
  • 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:

A solid list of apps from 21innovate.com — a blog by Brad Wilson, Educational Technology Consultant with the Jackson County ISD (Detroit, MI)

As Brad mentions on his website (emphasis DSC):

Innovate with an iDevice
I’ve evaluated thousands of educational apps so that you don’t have to! Landing in 17 categories, here are more than 150 of the best FREE apps, along with 100+ that will be worth a small investment for many classrooms.

 

Also see:

 

APPitic-March2013

APPitic is a directory of apps for education by Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) to help you transform teaching and learning.

 

Also see:

Largest multi-touch screen in U.S. installed at Cleveland Art Museum — from mashable.com by Lauren Indvik

Excerpt:

Museums are places we often go to connect with our pasts. The Cleveland Museum of Art , however, is also giving us a glimpse of the future.

The museum recently installed what it claims is the nation’s largest multi-touch screen, where as many as 16 visitors at a time can explore the 3,500 works in the permanent collection on display. Pieces are presented as thumbnails on a 40-foot-wide moving grid. Visitors can click on individual images to pull up more information, and to discover similar items by category (such as African art), artist, medium or period.

 

Also see:

ARTLENS-Clevenland-Feb2013

 

 

 

Also see:

 

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From DSC:
As a team of us have been charged with putting together a new collaborative workspace/conference room, I’ve been thinking about some ideas for a new type of interface as well as some new types of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) to be used in group collaboration/web-based collaboration.  I was thinking it would be good to not only display files from various devices but also to be able to share files/URLs/other resources with each other.  (Some type of storage device that processes files — and scans them for viruses would be needed in addition to a large display or an interactive multitouch surface/wall.)

People within the same room could contribute files/items to a variety of “areas” — and so could others who joined in via the Internet.  Here’s what I had wanted to be able to do and I had pictured in my mind:

 

New-types-of-collaboration--DChristian-2-1-13

 

ADDITIONAL NOTES:
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  • People could select which files/URLs/resources that they wanted to contribute
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  • People could select which files/URLs/resources that they wanted to download to their own devices (during and after the meeting)
    .
  • Could be powerful in the next generation of our Smart Classrooms as well as in corporate training/learning spaces
    .
  • Could be powerful in the what I’m envisioning in “Learning from the Living [Class] Room”
    .
  • Could be powerful in conference room situations
    .

 

 It’s very similar to what Tidebreak has created/envisioned in their product lines.
Check out their innovative work/products/concepts!

 


Transforming learning spaces: 3 big ideas — from Tidebreak


 

 

Also see:

 

Tidebreak-Jan2013

 

 

Lumify Movie Studio hits 3.0, brings full-featured video editing to iPhone — from maclife.com by J.R. Bookwalter

 

LumifyMovieStudio-Jan2013

Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later.
This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

 

From DSC:
I have not tried this, but it looks very interesting…feedback anyone?

 

From DSC:
The other day, I mentioned how important it will be for institutions of higher education to increase the priority of experimentation. Clicking on the graphic below will give you an example of the kind of vision/experiment that I’m talking about.

(Though, more practically speaking, to operationalize this type of vision would actually require a series of much smaller experiments; I just wanted to present the overall vision of how these pieces might fit together).

 

DanielChristian--Jan2013-Experiment-with-Apples-Ecosystem

NOTE:
This 11″x17″ image is a 10MB PDF file, so it may take some time to appear.
Feel free to right-click on the graphic in order to download/save/print the file as well.

 

Also relevant is this upcoming event from educause:

 

1/8/13 addendum resulting from a Tweet from a great colleague, Mr. Travis LaFleur (@travislafleur), UX Designer at BiggsGilmore

 

 

To boldly go where no pupils have gone before — from scienceomega.com by James Morgan

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Classroom of the future

Excerpt:

The researchers behind the design of so-called ‘Star Trek classrooms’ have discovered that multi-touch, multi-user desks can boost pupils’ skills in mathematics. The inter-disciplinary team from Durham University, whose findings have been published in the journal Learning and Instruction, found evidence to suggest that children who used smart desks to complete mathematical exercises benefited more than those who completed their tasks on paper.

During the course of a three-year project known as SynergyNet, the researchers have worked with more than 400 pupils, predominantly aged between eight and 10. The team’s latest results show that collaborative learning, such as that facilitated by touchscreen desks, increases learners’ mathematical fluency and flexibility. Moreover, the researchers are confident that the technology that they have developed could also be used to improve learning across other subject areas.

Also see:

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