I highly recommend this resource for educators working within Higher Education. At least one chapter, if not more, would be relevant to educators, whether technology devices are used or not. The author writes from the perspective not of the user of technology, but from the academic practice’s point-of-view, and how it is affected by technology. A subtle but effective approach that sheds light objectively on the changes within each scholarly area. I am optimistic that each reader will find something of interest and value.
After a whirlwind nine months that has witnessed a rapid rebirth of online education at elite U.S. universities in the form of massively open online courses, or MOOCs, Harvard University threw its hat into the ring Wednesday -- along with the largest investment yet in technology aimed at bringing interactive online education to hundreds of thousands of students at a time, free. Harvard will be piggybacking on MITx, the platform the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed for its own MOOCs, the universities jointly announced. The combined venture will be a nonprofit called edX. Harvard and MIT together have committed $60 million to the project, which is likely more than the combined venture funds raised by Coursera, Udacity and Khan Academy.
In preparation for my teaching next term and in search for some ideas on how to use new technologies, social networking tools etc. to support the teaching of MSc students I came across the recently published 'The Digital Scholar' by Martin Weller.
Notes and comments from reading Martin Weller's Chapter 8 (A Pedagogy of Abundance - The Digital Scholar: How Technology is Transforming Scholarly Practice, Bloomsbury Academic). This is the most exciting area as far as K-12 schools are concerned. In this chapter Weller considers how the music industry is facing the transition from an economics of scarcity (talent is scarce, difficult to locate, content is a physical thing and is manufactured to demand) to an economics of abundance.
While industries such as music, newspapers, film and publishing have seen radical changes in their business models and practices as a direct result of new technologies, higher education has so far resisted the wholesale changes we have seen...
Open online courses (OOC) with a massive number of students have represented an important development for online education in the past years. A course on artificial intelligence, CS221, at the University of Stanford was offered in the fall of 2011 free and online which attracted 160,000 registered students. It was one of three offered as an experiment by the Stanford computer science department to extend technology knowledge and skills to the entire world. The instructors were two of the best known experts in the subject of artificial intelligence. Although students would not get Stanford University grades or credit, 20,000 from 190 countries finished the course successfully receiving a “statement of accomplishment” from the tutors Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig. Udacity is a start-up from the authors of CS221 delivering similar massive free online courses. EdX, a joint partnership between The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University to offer online learning to millions of people around the world, is one of the most recent proposals in this realm. Massive open online courses known as connectivist MOOCs (c-MOOCs) on the other hand have been delivered since 2008. They are based on the explicit principles of connectivism (autonomy, diversity, openness and interactivity) and on the activities of aggregation, remixing, repurposing and feeding forward the resources and learning. In the research literature, newspaper and magazine articles both types of OOCs, AI-Stanford like courses (AI) and c-MOOCs, have been identified in many occasions as equivalent. Distance education (DE) pedagogy can be classified through the evolution of three categories: cognitive-behaviourist, social constructivist, and connectivist. These three current and future generations of DE pedagogy have an important place in a well-rounded educational experience. To a large extent, the generations have evolved in tandem with the technologies and all three models are very much in existence today and are categorized by a set of conditions. In this paper we study in detail representative courses from AI and c-MOOC formats. We establish that although they share the use of distributed networks the format associated with c-MOOCs, which are defined by a participative pedagogical model, are unique and different from AI. We further assign to the AI to a cognitive-behaviourist (with some small contribution of social constructivist) and MOOCs to connectivist pedagogy.
This book addresses a central question in current academic life – that of how best to incorporate technology into academic activities in a way that benefits academics themselves, their students and their institutions. Many academics are reluctant to engage with digital media or are wary of what they might mean for established ways of working, whilst those who do engage may be concerned that their efforts will not be recognised by promotion committees or valued by students. At the same time digital literacy is right at the top of the list of skills that employers want to see in graduates. But getting to grips with such technologies can be a daunting task for academics with already heavy workloads, particularly when their institutions often don’t recognise digital scholarship as being on a par with other forms of academic work.