Elearnspace

MOOCs for the win!

Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are getting attention on various blogs and news sites. I’ll try and synthesize the conversation over the last few weeks and describe the role of MOOCs in education.
The Conversation so far…
Clark Quinn kicked of the current conversation in MOOC Reflections where he explores the distinctions between the current generation of Coursera/Standford open online courses and the connectivist model that Stephen Downes, Dave Cormier, and I have offered. Clark states:

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Connected Learning: What have they done with Alec, Will, Vicki?

If I was Alec Couros, Will Richardson, Vicki Davis, Steve Hargadon, or any of the thousands of K-12 educators that have been pushing for networked/connected learning for years (in Will’s case, more than a decade), I’d be fairly irritated to have been written out of the vision of connected learning that is now emerging from DML.

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Follow the Sun: Global online conference

In case you are urgently looking for opportunities to learn something online, have a look at the Follow the Sun online conference. Great group of keynote speakers. It’s open, free…sign up here.

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Massive open online courses as new educative practice

Interest in open online courses – and startups see this as an opportunity to automate and scale education. In a recent interview by Tamar Lewin for NYTimes, I stated that while you could call Udacity, Coursera, and Codeacademy examples of MOOCs (Massive open online courses), they are largely instantiations of existing educational practices. Their primary innovation is scaling.

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The best learning of my life

I’m currently involved in three open online courses: Change, CCK12, and LAK12. Altogether, I’ve facilitated about a dozen of these courses, with about 15,000 participants being involved in various ways. Some participants, such as in the current CCK12 iteration, take the courses for credit. The vast majority do so for other reasons (and I’m not sure what those are – personal interest? desire to connect with others? general curiosity?).

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Rejected: On being disappointed, sorta

I’ve never really actively “looked for work”. In my late teens, my brother and I started a series of restaurants (we owned and operated seven in total). The hospitality field is very hard, however, on families and relationships as it consumes an enormous amount of time. Eventually, for a variety of reasons, I left the industry and started working in training and development and returned to University of Manitoba as a student.

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Openness: Why learners should know about, and influence, how decisions are made about their learning

Earlier this week, I delivered a presentation to TEDxEdmonton on why openness and learning analytics are critical for rethinking the future of education. The theme of the event was on open source culture and whether the promises of open source have been oversold.

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Social networked learning in complex information environments

In mid-January I spent a wonderful day at American University learning about (and presenting on) the changing educational landscape, technology, and the practices and activities of learners. The slides from my presentation are below:

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I need some help

On February 8, I’ll be delivering a talk at TEDxEdmonton’s event Rethinking Open Source Culture. In 2003 I posted a few articles online on open source movements and learning: Open source p.I, Open Source p.II, and Why we should share learning material. I have benefitted enormously from open learning.

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“I can’t teach at Stanford again”

Open online courses really mess things up. The force educators/funders/learners to question the value point of traditional education. Over the past four years, many different open online courses have been offered – some through formal universities (U of Manitoba – Stephen Downes and I, BYU – David Wiley, U of Regina – Alec Couros, Stanford – Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig, U of Illinois -Ray Schroeder).

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