Got MOOCs? Here are two recent pieces I found interesting:
The first is from Wired:Beyond the Buzz, Where Are MOOCs Really Going? by Michael Horn and Clayton Christensen. “We believe they are likely to evolve into a scale business, one that relies on the technology and data backbone of the medium to optimize and individualize learning opportunities for millions of students. This is very different than simply putting a video of a professor lecturing online.”
The second is The Trouble With Online College from the New York Times and takes perhaps a less optimistic view. “Courses delivered solely online may be fine for highly skilled, highly motivated people, but they are inappropriate for struggling students who make up a significant portion of college enrollment and who need close contact with instructors to succeed.”
By default, when you create a Moodle site it is set to be “not available to students” to give you time to add site content before students can access the site.
Unfortunately, the “availability” setting can be a bit hard to find in Moodle settings. To make this important setting easier to change and its current state more visible, you can now set its value from right in the Course Hub when creating or editing the Moodle Resource:
When you put files in the HANDOUTS/ or SHARE/ folders of your class folder, a “Middfiles Class Folder” resource will automatically be added to your Course Hub site. This resource provides a link that allows students to easily browse the files without having to mount a network drive. There is nothing extra you need to do. Read on for more details.
I attended the 2012 New Media Consortium’s summer conference located in Boston at the MIT campus for the first time, accompanied by Joe Antonioli. It was an invigorating several days of talks around new technology and education. I want to introduce you to some of the great speakers and ideas that I encountered. The embedded videos are short but get to the core of many of these ideas. Please take at least a few minutes to scan them and watch further if you find them interesting.
I began the conference with an entire morning session with Dr. Jeff Borden of Pearson called “Personalization : How Far Can (Should) We Go?” He advocates encouraging creativity, giving students safe places to fail but holding them to mastery. He cautions that too much personalization can be a bad thing, when “filter bubbles” over-personalize our experience, but data can provide invaluable feedback to both educators and students. He covers a lot of the same material in the following short video from a different conference. It’s worth watching.
This video, clips of which were shown during Kaltura’s presentation “Enhance Your Online Learning Environment with Video”, highlights the profoundly transformative effect that technologies as simple as YouTube can have. Just the first 7.5 minutes of this video will get this point across:
Several of the talks I attended were about game based learning and gamification as powerful tools for engagement and active learning.
In “Just Press Play: A Unified Game Layer for Education” Andrew Phelps (Rochester Institute of Technology) introduces “Just Press Play” an achievement/badge based system which provides a scale of accomplishment for students to engage in a range of activities and track what they have experienced.
Brett Bixler’s 20+ ways to Add Game-like Elements to Your Learning Designs
During “Which? The Academic Technology Card Game” David Thomas put forth the simple idea “Time is valuable. Entertainment values your time.” We played a card game that “inadvertently” got us talking about academic technology. It sparked inquisition and discussion and it really was fun. The following video is his short TEDx talk “What Makes a Place Fun?”
Helen Keegan urges us to take risks to get people curious. She used a “pedagogy of deception” when creating a fictional person whom the class followed via social networks.
My takeaway was that there really are opportunities to do things in new ways now, genuinely new ways that don’t simply transplant old practices into new technology, that are worth exploring. The message seems to be, take risks, encourage creativity, and get students engaged in learning by leveraging the new social, mobile, visual, storytelling, and gaming technologies.
Segue’s decommissioning will culminate on Friday August 31st, 2012 when Segue is taken offline. In preparation for this deadline, as of January 1st, 2012, faculty will no longer be able to create Segue websites. We recommend that all new sites be created in either Moodle or WordPress. Segue migration workshops will begin in Winter Term and continue into the Spring and Summer 2012 semesters. More →
LIS Technologists and Liaisons will be offering more workshop in J-term on Moodle and WordPress, as well as general technology work sessions where faculty can get assistance on using any platform supported by LIS. There will also be workshops on migrating Segue sites to these other platforms. For more information, see: Segue from Segue > Workshops
Louisa Stein is an assistant professor of Film and Media Culture. In the spring of 2010, I interviewed Prof. Stein about her use of technology in a number of her courses. Below is a screencast from that interview that describes her use of WordPress and Moodle in a first year seminar course on the “Aesthetics of the Moving Image.”.