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Learning is Changing: MOOCs, The Open World, and Beyond

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Make no mistake, learning has changed. It is now more collaborative, blended, ubiquitous, massive, informal, open, video-based, and personal. The utopian visions of voice and finger controlled tablet computers, interactive online databases, and on-demand videoconferencing of Apple Computer’s “Knowledge Navigator” video from 1987 are now common today. Fast forward a quarter century. In his book, “The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education,” Curt Bonk offers an intriguing look at ten technology trends which he calls educational openers. When combined, the first letter of each opener spells the acronym: “WE-ALL-LEARN.” This model helps make sense of the role of various technologies in open education, including open courseware, open access journals, open educational resources, and open information communities in Wikipedia, Facebook, YouTube, TED , and Twitter. In the midst of this openness, instructors are taking on roles of learning concierges, consultants, curators, and cultivators, instead of credit managers and camp commandants. With such technologies, thousands of organizations and scholars are sharing their course materials, expertise, and teaching ideas globally, thereby expanding learning opportunities and resources even further. But this is only part of the open education story. Open education, in fact, was often laughed at or ignored until the emergence of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) with their tens—or even hundreds—of thousands of learners in a single course. Given the mass success of Stanford courses topping 100,000 each and startups like Udacity and Coursera as well as the announcement of edX (from Harvard and MIT ), we can no longer look the other way. Still, many questions about MOO Cs and other forms of open education remain. Just how does an instructor keep thousands of students motivated and involved in such a course? And what are the more promising business models? In this talk, Bonk will detail his experiences in teaching a MOOC and offer guidelines for others hoping to create a highly engaging MOOC -based learning environment. He will also map out a set of MOOC business plans, leadership principles and recent news related to MOO Cs, and several types of MOO Cs.

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