Who are changing the world of education and learning?

Yes. Would the current thinking that a professor MUST be a content expert transmitting content be limiting to some extent?

The reasons why Sebastian Thrun, Daphne Koller, Andrew Ng, and Agnant Agarwal have been so successful in launching and organising xMOOCs (based on what they have done in transforming online courses into xMOOCs) are based on some major factors: Being innovative, being good in taking risks and opportunities, being an expert in the area, and being able to convince and influence themselves, people around them who are decision makers, and the Venture Capitalists to join in the MOOCs. This is not about teaching only, and not facilitation for sure. There are lots of great professors who could teach (based on their teaching performance, or lecture to a huge audience), but not too many could change the world, within a short space of time.

I am trying to highlight these in order to point out similar wonderful things that have been done by the cMOOCs pioneers: David Wiley, Alec Couros, George Siemens, Stephen Downes, and Dave Cormier, who have in various ways also transformed the world of education in looking into more deeply how people are learning through different learning models (Social Constructivism, Connectivism, Networked Learning etc.). Most of the educators and professors would be working endlessly in the MOOCs (c or x MOOCs) to make MOOCs a better learning platform, hoping that this would turn out to be a better learning experience for their learners and themselves, that is my assumption. Are there many others who would like to exploit these opportunities for making money, profits, as Venture Capitals? Are there many others who would like to conduct further researches and make the knowledge and learning known about MOOCs be spread across the world?  So, would we wonder what the role of these people are?

Should we re-think about how mere professors (those I mentioned above) could change the world? It is too restrictive to think about professors merely as teaching “machine”, transmitting their knowledge from their heads to other heads, because they are the experts, the gurus. Think about having professors who could inspire, influence, facilitate and actually do something that is greater than themselves, and working with others to contribute to the education and learning of the local institutions, the communities, society, and possibly the whole world.

Where one door might be closing (for some teachers who may not be able to seek employment or continue to teach due to various reasons), there are many doors opening, for them to become the change agents and leaders in education and learning.

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d76a1174-05ae-11e2-a733-3a26e6a49193_24p23-MoocThink about money last, and we would all be more interested in thinking and acting more creatively and cooperatively to lead and share our learning with many who are passionate in our journey of education and learning. Is it too much to think about?


MOOCs and the future of Higher Education Part 2

Here is my response to: California SB 520 – Text of Proposed Draft Bill for Online Education Platform –http://po.st/2MupbD as posted by Fabian Banga.
I think this trend will go on for the next few years or even the decades. This is predictable as I have shared a few years ago.  So far if the professors could seize this opportunity to become the glamorous super-rockstar professors, once they have delivered the MOOCs, they would likely prefer to create their own “education” business. This is showcased by Sebastian Thrun, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng who are now pioneering in the xMOOCs.
This is rational in a world where Venture Capitalism is ubiquitous in country like USA. This is not always the case in other countries where education is “highly regulated” and “legislated”, such as Australia. I don’t see how this would possibly survive in a hierarchically structured education system, though most governments would welcome a low-cost and affordable education platform where more people could “enjoy”. Would this end the exclusive rights of education by the accredited education providers? To what extent would this be beneficial to educators and learners? What are your thoughts?
My response to: Are We MOOC’d Out? – Huffington Post – http://po.st/n1Ab8Y

Who would win this race of MOOC mania? Of course the institutions who have the resources, money, professors, and support from those who are looking for values from the xMOOCs. Time has proven that. Did you see most news on MOOCs are praises (hypes) which are unlike the typical news in newspapers which are more than 80% negative? Do we need more good news? To be more patriotic, and loving and caring the society and institutions? In my post  , I commented that this is what educators love to do – promoting good values of good citizenship, pro-social behavior, demonstrating and modelling wonderful professionalism in public. All these are good acts of being an educator.

The reality is: with the shrinkage of funding, more educators would need to work their way out, in order to remain “employable” and stay in their education business. Be proactive in learning, get skilled, be adaptive, and be innovative, or else, there is another exit for those who couldn’t cope or adapt to the system – would they leave, or “die”? This applies not only to teachers, administrators, but also institutions and corporations. I am trying to be optimistic. But I reckon the ones who might have to worry most are those who are teaching MOOCs now, as once their work are shared, would you still need them any more?

In a Chinese proverb, when the cunning rabbit is dead, you could cook the dog. When the flying birds are gone, you could pack up the bow and arrows. The moral of this proverb is: if the teachers have already served its needs, do you still need them? May be for a different purpose, or a different job.

In xMOOCs, only the content and assessment is the most valuable part. We all know the interaction and engagement with the professors (through dialogue, conversation and feedback) is where students perceived to be most valuable for their learning, but that would be reserved for fees paying students, when these students attend the institution course. Once all content and assessment is opened to the public, there is limited added value that would be perceived by the teacher or students. The teacher might no longer be needed, as the videos are already prepared. Would you still pay the professors for that? May be for branding purpose! You could still employ the professors for face-to-face teaching, but as Sebastian Thrun mentioned, only some tens (was it less than 50 left out of his 200 students) attended the live sessions? Even the best professors would go and set up their own education business (Sebastian, and many who followed suite). If I have the capability, what would I do?  How about you?

MOOCs and the future of Higher Education

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