E-learning and a whole lot of MOOC’s! Ok what is a MOOC? It is a Massive Online Open Course known as a MOOC. These (MOOC)’s invest in the idea that everything is done collaborative and the old saying the more one puts in the more one gets out. The MOOC’s are an on-line forum and are free. However the student may the university for credit in come cases. Most MOOCs today involve the learning in the fields of computer technology and teacher education and learning theory. Rather then just summarize another article about E-learning which all of us knows is the future of higher education. Instead I found a site that reported the pros and cons of this type of learning community from two different individuals, in an attempt to illustrate the good, bad and ugly for participating in a MOOC. The two participants themselves say that the MOOC format is not for everyone.
The pros discussed were: the global scope of the participants, Participants work together to help achieve greater understanding of presented materials, Credit is only given if the participant wants to pay, otherwise the courses are usually free from charge and one gains valuable knowledge, There are live chats and classwork presented weekly, Q& A sessions and feels like a face to face setting.
The con side of participating in a MOOC were: Participant experienced missing out on important information because of site navigation difficulties, Sometimes the participant felt that students who were receiving credit had been giving different privileges and went against the MOOC philosophy, the MOOC method of delivery is sometimes not conducive for the disabled learner, because the pace of the conversation is very fast and the amount of people talking at one time is at times very hard to follow.
The MOOC forum is relatively new and much research is still being conducted so as they say the verdict is still out. However, this appears to be the new wave of the future for the higher education system and many big name university
The first thing we must establish is that the term is relatively new it only began with a Harvard Business Professor Theodore Levitt in1983, he defines the term as the integration of nations, people politics, economy and cultures moving and molding into one large community. He points out two main drivers for this movement: 1) Technologic advances and innovations that changed the way we trade with the world, which changed the world economy. 2) Technologies such as the satellite telecommunications, Jet Planes, and the main use of the Internet which opened communications in minutes or even seconds eliminating the barrier of time. Education must change because of these advances and make every effort to prepare the youth of all societies to understand they have a responsibility for the “Global Mind” a mind that thinks of global issues and cultures. A mind that has an awareness of the bigger issues facing everyone today worldwide. Education needs to cultivate skills for the students to be innovators and move technology in positive adventures such as renewable energy. To make them people of society, which can understand the differences in the diverse cultures for which they live. Generate business people, which are to able to handle the demands of a global economy. Scientists to use technology to make advances in the area of global health, human rights. Educator’s, who will help guide the youth to be able to navigate this complex society which and be able to handle the changes in the way we work and live. Education is hoping that the 21-Century Learning Goals will prepare our students for the globalization they are going to be learning and living in in the future.
21st Century. So then what is it and how should I go about making one you might ask. PLN’s are networks based on connecting learning environments with a more diverse audience. I started researching this and found two very good articles that will help create my educational PLN. Here some reasons to create a PLN: It improves teaching, helps to create new projects, and helps connects the educator to a global intelligence .The article points out 10 tips for using PLNS:
Learning Networks (PLN’s) are important for the
- Keep the spirit of collaboration
- Join an on-line community
- Join a meet up group
- Become a beacon of light
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions
- Be an active participant
- Remember to be polite and acknowledge contributions to the rightful owner
- Create a landing page
- Designate a professional and personal account
- Engage new user
This article answers basic questions about why teachers and students may use PLN’s. Offers advice on making them personalized and offers thoughts on different web tools to build PLN’s. These PLN’s are made with people of like minds and there are many web tools to help make creating a PLN enjoyable!
At first the term “meme” caught my eye because it looked and sounded like a Dr. Seuss word, when I looked it up, it meant an idea or behavior that spreads person to person within a culture. The culture we are talking about is the higher education culture. For years traditional education had a strong hold of how students and the public believed and viewed on-line education. That view is changing thanks to the phenomena known as “meme”. With ivy league colleges such as MIT and Harvard offering free online classes the very core of college seems to be a volcano waiting to erupt with a brand new fire for education. Free on-line classes, these courses have all the realtime feedback, offers self paced lessons along with video lesson and the high standards of curriculum and quality professors one often associates with the name of these prestigious colleges. The only difference is the name on the certificate and the price tag. The certificate of completion and the grade will come with the edx logo on it. Spokes persons fro both colleges said that the only way to still obtain a free from these schools is to be accepted, pay the bill and psychically attend face to face classes. However if one wants a certificate and a grade along with the knowledge to build their portfolio, without the debt then this program would be for you.
News literacy challenges the student to become well-informed, globally evolved and critical thinkers of the world around them. Three main points are discussed: Learners have different opportunities, Transparency issues of how the digital media molds perceptions, and finally the Ethical problem of breaking down traditional training and socialization which may help them prepare to answer questions, that question what they are seeing. So that is the problem how do we as educators help the students gain news literacy, by asking these questions, who created the message? What did the creator do to grab my attention? What points of view are presented or omitted in the message? How many others view this message differently? Encouraging students to answer these questions the youth of today will have more thinking skills tools allowing them to decide whether to, like Ripley says, “believe it or not”. By guiding our students through these basic questions we are helping give them the critical thinking skills they need for the 21 Century.
Digital media has been the earthquake to the foundations of classical education. With the explosion of You Tube, images on line, news programs with images, television and phones that take pictures and video what does the youth of today believe? It has been this very explosion that has educators looking at how to address the needs in this changing media overload. This article points out that teaching the written word is no longer preparing the youth of today for what they need to be critical thinkers in this global world. That education must address the visual literacy component 84% of the youth survived for this article said that they need more instruction on how to trust the news media and the digital images they see everyday.