Monday, July 25, 2011

Ripples and Waves and Tidal Waves in Learning

I have been doing more and reflecting less in the past week and a half. It's time to pause and reflect on where we are in eduMOOC. We have now passed the halfway point chronologically. But, of course MOOCs keep giving long after the official end of the course.

We have tested the concept of using a Google+ Hangout for panels. We have completed a proof of concept - it works, though there are some audio delay issues that could be distracting in the stream. The balance is whether any value associated with seeing faces and expressions offsets that problem. At this point, we think we need further testing to see if we can eliminate the lag. Perhaps we may try this on a smaller scale before putting the full weight of a weekly panel into it.

There are many ripples from the eduMOOC. One appears to be the start of MOOC page on Wikipedia . Please check it out and update with info. Perhaps someone can add a link to the main page of the eduMOOC.

There are waves from the MOOC. We are considering some additional MOOCs that would take on topics outside of the online learning field, perhaps dealing with more traditional "academic" topics that are of broad interest to personal learners as well as formal learners.

There is a tidal wave building - generated by the changing state of higher education world wide. All around the globe, there is concern about affordable access to higher education. Resources that had previously come from governments are strained by the global economic downturn. Education is not the top priority in these times - healthcare, infrastructure, safety, and other areas seem to have a higher priority in governmental budgets. As a result tuition costs continue to escalate and institutional resources dwindle. The tidal wave may be in open learning triggered by the recession and guided by a few visionaries in our field. MOOC plays a role in modeling what is possible in reaching many learners through distributed, networked learning in which learners are given unprecedented control in structuring and building their interactive learning experience.

There is much to ponder about how learning may change in the near future to make more accessibile, affordable, ubiquitous, and collaborative. The MOOC can be all of those.

Pondering, once again.

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