Starting the Future of Education MOOC

Future of Education MOOC logoThe Future of Education MOOC started this week.  I’ll share some notes and reactions here.

So far: this first week sets a historical context for the future.  Professor Cathy Davidson focuses on media history, with an emphasis on history of the book.  She sees this as “a purposive, activist history”, one aimed at informing and eliciting action from us, the audience/participants/learners/educators.  “We don’t see this just as a MOOC but as a movement”, says the opening text.

Platforms: most of the class lives on a Coursera instance.  This includes: a stack of videos; optional readingsthe entirety of her recent book, Now You See It; triggered quizzes;a discussion forum; peer assessment information. There is also a Twitter hashtag, #FutureEd, which has some conversation, and a microsite on the HASTAC site.

Content: the first week sets the stage by quickly exploring the history of information revolutions. Davidson does a fine job of removing the stodgy, conservative status of inherited media.  She emphasizes the history of media panics over each new medium, and the unseemly content each purveys.  So this futures course begins with a grounding in historical thinking: excellent.

There are some inspirational parts, like the story about Yale’s resistance to the blackboard, or Davidson’s great question: “Are we [educators] preparing young people for their future or our past?”  And she attacks xMOOCs: “The relationship between MOOCs and open learning is antagonistic”.  She celebrates peer learning as a feature of online citizenship.  I wish she’d mention cMOOCs, though.  Davidson also hosts a fine section interviewing local people on their most influential teachers.  So there’s an interesting tension between the xMOOC platform and Davidson’s cMOOC spirit.  Maybe this is the first insurgent xMOOC, criticizing from within.

I’m looking forward to discussions, people, and learning.

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10 Responses to Starting the Future of Education MOOC

  1. Pingback: Starting the Future of Education MOOC | Bryan Alexander | adelwins

  2. skjandrews says:

    Thanks for this rundown – and reminder! I had intended to check out this course so appreciate the review from the first week of class.

  3. Rolin Moe says:

    I’m fighting a cold and a dissertation deadline so I have yet to interact, but one question based on your read: how is Dr. Davidson negotiating her cMOOC spirit with her position as a member of Udacity’s advisory board? Those other board members would not be classified in a similar vein.

  4. That hasn’t come up yet, Rolin. Good question.

  5. VanessaVaile says:

    Reblogged this on MOOC Madness and commented:
    reviewing Week 1 of #FutureEd

  6. Pingback: #FutureEd, An Hour of Video, and April 22, 1993? - CogDogBlog

  7. johoward says:

    That sounds excellent, Bryan.

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