Clay Shirky’s video here sums it well on the cognitive surplus and range of creativity, in that “doing something is different from doing nothing”. He explains how widespread education coupled with 21st century technology has enabled what he terms “cognitive surplus,” or the potential for large and cumulative creative endeavours.
That is a good summary of what a MOOC could achieve.
The challenges with all these networks and communities development:
Learning that happens within such communities and networks (such as MOOC or MOON (Massive open online networks)) would be based on autonomy and idiosyncrasy of its networkers or members, and so networked learning would become fragmented, all across different media and learning landscape. People could be participating actively in certain networks whilst inactive in other networks at any point of time, especially when they are exposed to new and emergent tools, media and practices (COPs). Such landscape of practice with multiple networks engagement and interaction (with PLE/N) would be a huge challenge both for educators and educational institutions, as these seem to deviate significantly from the “best-practice” pedagogy that focuses on teaching to be delivered under the control of institutions.
People could be morphing along different trajectories within and along such media landscape or their periphery, to enhance their learning, with or without the presence of knowledgeable others, via active participation or lurking. Such self organised networks would be situated in formal and informal clusters of networks, which re-shape their configuration as the media changes. This could also develop into an ecology where ubiquitous networks are competing, cooperating, or collaborating with each others for educators, learners in this creative, fragmented and adaptive digital economy.
How do you see its future?