Sunday, January 27, 2013

Educon 2.5: Build a MOOC Workshop with Jon Becker

In his session at Educon 2.5, Jon Becker led a crowd sourcing activity to create a High School MOOC.
Thomas Friedman discussed MOOC's in his New Your Times Op-Ed today, though Becker thought he didn't really get it.

Here's the video of the session.

My Notes  from the session:

Asking the question "What is a MOOC?" is the wrong question. There are many things that are "MOOCish," and all the letters are negotiable!

Types of MOOC's

  • xMOOC's-Corporate sponsored, Coursera etc Packaged with stuffed content. Proprietary. 
  • cMOOC's-Connective, Community MOOC's. Creation is part of it. 
I have seen others talk about 3 types of MOOC's.

DS106- Started face to face, on Digital Storytelling. 1000's take the course for no credit online to be part of the community.
ETMOOC for Educational Technology and Media is currently going on, led by Alec Couros.

Some college professors are having students take the online Coursera course, but meet face to face in a blended format.

How can we take these ideas and move them into K12? 
A lot of questions to be answered. 

Assume we want to do this.
Participants were brought into two groups, then worked on a Google doc to share ideas.
During the session, Jerry Blumengarten (@cybraryman) shared his MOOC resources

Aside:One of the disadvantages of attending a session online, is that unless there is a method for online interaction, you can sometimes feel disconnected from the discussion. In the past, Educon has used other streaming media options that allowed for interaction via chat. Streaming via Youtube this year did not allow for that, which was disapointing.

Becker brought the groups back together and noted that one group tried to actually build a course, the other tried to "change the world."

One group:
Creating community, Space, ground-rules, build relationships first before diving in, better for self-directed learners, build teams/sub-groups for support, 

Should it be around a topic, like Chemistry that they do study, or a topic they normally don't study, like "Intro to Jazz?"
Or should it be around a shared interest that is self-selected?

If for credit, we have the constraints of the "semester." If it is "extra-curricular," we might not. Students would definitely need to know what is required and what artifacts need to be created.

What is the "problem" we are trying to solve?

Becker-Educational Technology is sometimes like the "SkyMall Catalog."

We have an opportunity to get kids involved in new, meaningful learning experiences different from what is traditionally available. 
We should try to capitalize on that.
Another problem we are trying to solve is all of the students going to college, racking up a huge ammount of debt, learning things that could be learned for free. 
If you are a self-directed learner, aside from the credential, why would you want to go to college? See Mark Cuban article.

Becker thinks that the best course of action is to start as an extra-curricular activity, and then move from there.

Skill Share is an interesting model for people wanting to learn.

There is some concern about equity from a band-width, access standpoint.

At the end, Becker invited people interested in extending the conversation to visit the Google Doc started by participants. 
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