Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pondering Scale and Relevance

It has been busy at our center. This eduMOOC is something we are doing on top of our other full time work. Our teaching, faculty support, course development, grant work, administrative support, research, etc. all continue unabated. This is the icing on the cake! I am reminded how great the three full timer staff members in our unit are. Shari, Carrie and Emily are keeping up good cheer while working long extra hours. Meanwhile Bill, Carol, and Lauren are all doing extra work as well. Faculty members Michael Cheney and Karen Swan are making important contributions on top of their summer teaching schedules as well. Thank you!

I puzzle over the depth and breadth of the reach of eduMOOC. Countries of those participating at this point are Argentina Australia Austria Belgium Belize Botswana Brazil Bulgaria Burundi Canada Chile China Colombia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominican Republic Ecuador Ethiopia Fiji Finland France Germany Greece Guyana India Indonesia Ireland Israel Italy Japan Kuwait Laos Malaysia Mauritius México Netherlands New Zealand Nigeria Norway Pakistan Philippines Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Samoa Saudi Arabia Scotland South Africa Spain St. Vincent/the Grenadines Sweden Taiwan Thailand Trinidad/Tobago Turkey UAE Uganda UK Ukraine Venezuela USA Vietnam.

Surely the online learning infrastructure and support varies widely among these countries. I can imagine some are mostly served through mobile phone access. Some of those accessing the MOOC rely on part-time generators providing power for a few hours a day. Others have superior bandwidth to the home than we enjoy here in Illinois. Some countries have large open efforts, others do not. It is this range, in part, that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to apply a single set of learning objectives.

It is this that makes me think that the MOOC is closer to providing support for a matrix of personal learning networks than supporting a single ubiquitous set of learning objectives.

Tomorrow is our first synchronous session. More tests of the process today. Tulio, our director Educational Technology surprised us today with the installation of a brand new high-bandwidth, super fast, streaming server for flash. Our previous main streaming server will provide the HTML5 version to iPhone, iPads, etc. that will be auto-detected when you connect.

The streaming will be found online:

Don't forget to click on the "play" button to hook up to the stream!

We will post the link to the recorded version as soon as it is available.

I hope to connect with you tomorrow... now to feed the other hungry blogs.


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