Through the MOOC Darkly - Reflections on Life, Learning and the Future of Education
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Through the MOOC Darkly - Reflections on Life, Learning and the Future of Education

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Overview of thoughts related to the future of education, looking at the idea of learning as personal development, that aspect of the value proposition of universities, how that affects what we ...

Overview of thoughts related to the future of education, looking at the idea of learning as personal development, that aspect of the value proposition of universities, how that affects what we understand MOOCs to be and their role in learning generally, and the relation of learning to the economy and life generally.

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Through the MOOC Darkly - Reflections on Life, Learning and the Future of Education Through the MOOC Darkly - Reflections on Life, Learning and the Future of Education Presentation Transcript

  • Through the MOOC Darkly: Reflections on Life, Learning and the Future of Education Stephen Downes Presentation for the Saylor Foundation 24 July 2013
  • • Who I am… – The philosopher – The journalist – The technologist – The educator
  • • Learning has a lot in common with growing up Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. – 1 Corinthians 13
  • • Future of Education/Higher Education - Understanding the value proposition - Learning / Content / Job Training - Socialization / Networking / Identity -  more and more the first is morphing into the second as we begin to understand what learning actually is (ie., not just remembering a set of facts)
  • • Thoughts on Free Online Courses/MOOCs - it’s not just replacing one kind of course with a diff kind of course - Problems with the course model in general - & especially with the idea that we can shortcut the learning process through structured presentations of information - The ‘MOOC out of water’ phenomenon – you have these students flip-flopping on the MOOC shore, gasping for air
  • • Open Ed Overview – - Varieties of openness • Free learning – no cost, no limits • Open Learning – a la OU or AU – no entrance barriers • Open access – the fundamental openness – Access not just to content, but to the community itself (ie the second half of the value proposition) • Open assessment • Open credentials - badges
  • • Tech innovations – wither the MOOC – personal learning in a cloud world – assessing the person, not the memorization
  • • Your favorite topic of the day – Yes, everybody needs a job & needs to eat, but – It’s not about jobs and the economy • These won’t be addressed through education • Fundamental issues of fairness need to be addressed – Who speaks for us? Who speaks for earth?