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2015-07-31

MIT looks to stay in vanguard of digital education

MIT has become a leader in propelling massive open online courses, or MOOCs, which provide unprecedented access to elite higher education. It joined forces with Harvard University to launch the nonprofit Web site called edX in 2012. The site now hosts MOOCs from prominent colleges, universities and other institutions worldwide. Those from MIT are offered under the brand “MITx.”

Sebastian Thrun: How many moocs can dance on the head of a pin?

It is less than a quarter of an hour’s drive down Route 101 from the village-like campus of Stanford University to Mountain View, the Silicon Valley home of Udacity. This was the journey Sebastian Thrun, the online education company’s chief

Peter Mellow’s insight:
Sebastian Thrun is always worth the attention he garners. Interesting to watch a him wrestle with the realities of teaching and learning in the 21st century. I’d love to see him go toe to toe with Tony Bates!

Why is MIT ignorning 25 years of reseach into online learning? | Tony Bates

Tony Bates: “In my previous post, there were two sessions at the LINC 2013 conference that referred specifically to MIT’s own strategies for technology-enabled learning within MIT. These resulted in my asking the following question towards the end of the conference:

 

Why is MIT ignoring 25 years of research into online learning and 100 years research into how students learn in its design of online courses? “

Peter Mellow’s insight:
Dennis’s comments on this issue are very good. This article and his comments are well worth a read.

Peering Over The Cliff | StratEDgy | InsideHigherEd

Pioneering online education and MOOC providers are adapting quickly and “figuring it out”:  In addition to Udacity and coding academies, some traditional schools are advancing quickly. According to a recent Washington Post article, MIT “is pondering whether to launch new online education programs that would generate revenue.”  According to a 2014 MIT task force report, “The very notion of a ‘class’ may be outdated,” and the school is looking at creating classes built on smaller modules that can be combined in different ways to create more customized learning opportunities. 

Should MOOCs be used as credit for high school?

While MOOCs can provide some great content, the teaching and assessment methods probably aren’t appropriate for high school students.

3 Questions for Jonathan Rees | Technology and Learning | InsideHigherEd

Question 1:  What do you think of MOOCs?

 

That depends upon the MOOC. I think corporate video-based MOOCs are a poor substitute for face-to-face college classes and I’m afraid that the business plans of the companies that make them and their collaborators in higher education require them to replace quality traditional classes in the near future. On the other hand, I think that independent, connectivist MOOCs show great potential for creating new, uniquely-valuable educational experiences for people of all ages. If I had all the time in the world, I’d be participating in DS106 right now.

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