Education in an Open Information Era

So in class this week we had a conversation about MOOCs, which are Massive Online Open Courses available as a type of online learning.

Not familiar with them? This video explains far better than I ever could!


Now, I am a huge fan of access to equality, especially equality in learning and education so I was really excited by this idea. Cormier’s video explains that anyone can join, anyone can choose what to learn, and they can chose how they learn. They are given access to resources and information but the lack of formal class structure means that some physical barriers people to accessing higher quality education are not so much of an issue.  Plus it is free; anyone with computer and internet access can participate.

And there still are plenty of ‘kinks’ that need to be figured out. No-one is denying that. Steve Cooper and Mehran Sahami’s paper Reflections on Stanford’s MOOCs show that some of the biggest issues that are raised with this current platform as we are currently have it are issues with validation and plagiarism, evaluation, grading and certification. But these are issues that could be solved with more time, research and technology.There are so many subjects and more are continuing to be added each year!

But they could be used to complement my institutional learning, to provide alternative resources, to give me new and different perspectives on similar topics… Even to keep my brain from switching off over summer and my forgetting how to function as a student…

But then I realised…

It’s 10pm on Sunday night and although I promised myself I would publish a blog this week I am on YouTube and Facebook…

I am interested in the topic. I love writing and blogging. I really just want to finish it so I can go to sleep. But without a looming deadline I can’t motivate myself to do it.

I would definitely would be one of 93% of students who sign up for a class excited for the topic and eager learn but never make it to the end…

This is me. Every. Time.

I still think they are a great idea and that they step in the right direction in this era of open information we are living in. There is a lot of information out there, if it sounds like something you’re interested in give them a Google.


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