A free ebook on mobile learning has appeared, ably wrangled by David Rogelberg. It’s “Mobile Education – Lessons from 35 Education Experts on Improving Learning with Mobile Technology” , and you can read it embedded below:
A bunch of us wrote pages on subtopics. I’m on page 11, for example.
EDUCAUSE posted a short interview with me on the Future of MOOCs. I sketch out three possible ways MOOCs could transform higher education.
The London Times interviews me and the cMOOC founders about the state of MOOCs.
There are some important points in the article. George Siemens criticizes not only xMOOCs’ lack of experimentation, but their lack of currency: “the pedagogy employed by the major providers is “several decades behind” what is needed.”
Stephen Downes slams the resistance to interactivity:
“Moocs as they were originally conceived…were the locus of learning activities and interaction, but as deployed by commercial providers they resemble television shows or digital textbooks with – at best – an online quiz component…”
These are imporant points, which campus leaders and politicians need to heed.
Let me add some more thoughts. Continue reading
I’m fond of the Cowbird digital storytelling platform. It’s very easy to use, and does some nice magic with photos.
Here’s a little story I made this afternoon, concerning autumn on our homestead:
Cowbird is filled with creative work from all kinds of folks. Check out the ‘birds from Alan Levine, Susan Perly, Benjamin Weinberg, or Barbara Ganley.
The New York Times has been developing a fine form of digital storytelling. It’s a kind of journalism that uses a mix of maps, visualizations, images, video, and text to explore a topic in depth. ”The Russia Left Behind” is a fine example.
The story takes a reporter (and the reader/viewer) along the road running south from St. Petersburg to Moscow, stopping at several towns to learn about their experiences. It’s sad, even heartbreaking stuff, describing personal and infrastructure stagnation and decline.
As a digital story, “Russia Left Behind” presents some fascinating features.
Scientists discussing labs and student research.
Flipped classes have been in the air for me this week. I enjoyed another Olin College Innovation Lab, where business leaders argued that in-class lecturing was doomed. Then I helped with an NSF/ACS workshop for biologists and chemists (mostly) interested in teaching innovation. The majority – really – described already flipping their classes.
This pair of experiences tied into conversations I’ve been having all year, where blended learning kept growing in popularity. This is partly a recognition of the undeniable presence of learning via technology, and partly a reaction against MOOCs (combining face-to-face and distance teaching vs massive distance learning). Flipped classes are a subset of blended learning.
Flipping is on the rise for various reasons, but in this post I’m less interested in why flipped classes are growing in popularity than in who does the flipping.
First, who is more likely to flip their classes, tenure-track or adjunct faculty?
I offer another book review:
A very useful book on recent technological history, In the Plex (2011; Amazon) takes us through the history of Google. The subject is obviously important to anyone seeking to understand cyberspace and the digital world.
It’s a very engaging book as well, balancing neatly between technical details and human lives. It renders computer science problems accessible to the nonspecialist. And Levy sometimes pulls out entertaining, or at least humanizing, elements:
“I hate ads,” says Eric Veach, the Google engineer who created the most successful ad system in history. (83)
These characters and technologies appear within the unusual Google culture, which Levy probes throughout the book. We see the famous playfulness and company-supplied pleasures, along with stresses and war rooms.