A new survey shows that free massive open online courses aren't exactly knocking down geographic, race, gender and economic hurdles to learning.
Robert Schuwer's insight:
A quote illustrating the most important message of this article:
“Far from realizing the high ideals of their advocates, MOOCs seem to be reinforcing the advantages of the ‘haves’ rather than educating the ‘have-nots.’ Better access to technology and improved basic education are needed world-wide before MOOCs can genuinely live up to their promise.”
No doubt most of you will have read the (unintentionally hilarious) interview with Udacity founder and the media's poster child for MOOCs, Sebastian Thrun. If you haven't the short version (minus the ego fanning and competitive cycling) is...
The fact is, Silicon Valley has yet to come to terms with education. It's a massive, global market, but a notoriously complex one that is tricky to negotiate. A lot of what goes on in education is almost certainly not scalable.
Of course localisation is important for MOOC's also! This is a lesson the OER world know for a decade now. Again a reason to publish the learning materials in a MOOC under an open license if you will have the ambition to reach a worldwide audience with your MOOC.
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