I was recently asked for some information on MOOCs. This is not my area of expertise at all, but a little research proved very interesting. George Siemens, one of the originators, talks to Howard Rheingold in this video clip.
The term MOOC was coined in 2008 during a course presented by George Siemens (connectivism theory of learning) and Stephen Downes. It was presented to 25 fee-paying students at the University of Manitoba who were seeking credit for their course. 2,300 other students from the general public also took the online course, but free of charge. There is no credit, but feedback is through their peers in the course. Participants could choose their own tools – Moodle, Facebook, blogs, for example – but the course content was available through RSS feeds and video conferencing tools.
Tablets are great devices! Tablets are an excellent tool for education! However, why have schools been so quick to purchase class sets? “Yes, we must have iPads; no, we’re not sure why and how we will use them”. We know that there are difficulties with sharing a device which is intended to be personal; we know that storage of data on the device is an issue; we know that classroom and device management can be tricky. Here’s a sensible article on the benefits and challenges of iPads in the classroom.
There are a few fads or trends which appear to have slipped from the radar – what happened to virtual worlds as a here-and-now imperative? Augmented reality slips from the 2-3 year mark to the longer term. The reports are well worth watching…but are they always “on the mark”?