etmooc 2-3-13

Bob Connor, who has spent his life in education, the last three and a half decades or more dealing with higher education management or think tanks, had the following to say about MOOCs:  http://hosted-p0.vresp.com/1109165/b8e7ca62ad/ARCHIVE. His viewpoint is very interesting because he comes from the most traditional part of the educational establishment (Ivy League Classics), and yet has often fostered new non-traditional approaches.  Although he is innocent of any computer nerdism like actually writing code, he has embraced the new technology, even having his own website now: http:/WRobertConnor.com [sic: the .com, altho he is not running a commercial entity]. His views are worth noting. See an update on his fall article on MOOCs (cited above) on his website under Provocations: at the end of “New & Noteworthy Jan, 2013”.  A main issue is how to evaluate student learning 1) in itself, and 2) as a basis for granting diplomas or degrees. This is particularly important and difficult in the “humanities”.

etmooc 2-2-13

Aside

I was very impressed with Ed Nagelhout’s blog, as I mentioned two blogs ago; however, I do want to point out that he has several webpages worth a look. Though they may not be in line with ETMOOC’s effort, still they are very well done, albeit with a more formal and structured approach, which I would prefer for the subject of grammar, for which see http://english.unlv.edu/courses/sp2012/eng411b-nagelhout/.  I would be interested in how Ed would parse the following in his system: “It is good to see a web site which I know the student find helpful.”

etmooc

Aside

Summary at end of week 3 of ETMOOC:

I have pondered on the question of what is the point of ETMOOC for me, and I have come to two conclusions.  First it is a way for me to get some experience with the so-called social media (web tools for social interaction: LinkedIn, Facebook- strangely not used by ETMOOC, but twitter, google+, wordpress, edublog, YouTube, TED, etmooc.org, diigo, and others are), and secondly to assess what ETMOOC offers in the way of educational approaches.  This latter effort has taken some time to work out.  Whereas MOOCs in general are 1) mainly ‘illustrated’ lectures, 2) hosted by websites often based at Universities, and 3) may have some type of automated follow-up (online test/quiz), especially if they are for credit.  Still they are very different from online courses from places like Phoenix where 1) often there is an expectation that students converse on the website or by monitored email with each other, 2) the student is expected to produce some writing each week,  and 3) the instructor is expected to comment on and/or grade that writing and be available to the student for comment, all hosted by the school’s or education provider’s website.  ETMOOC is working towards a model that emulates the ‘Phoenix’ model but more as lecture and then precepts or discussion classes, though these are not necessarily led by instructors.  It is an echo of the Protestant movement wherein there is the priesthood of all believers.  Here there is the ‘teacher-status’ of all learners.  This struck me quite strongly as I looked at Sue Waters’ chart of the Blogging Cycle at http://suewaters.com/2013/01/18/learning-through-blogging-as-part-of-a-connectivist-mooc/.  One student posts his blog, then the evaluating process begins (in the small class following the large general lecture) in which the student sees different perspectives on the subject of the blog, then another student comments on his blog and operates as a preceptor or teacher. The last stages are the original student’s reflection and possible revision of some or all of the original blog, as the student fits it into the enlarging structure of context that is being built and back-filled. Accordingly, ETMOOC is exploring the possibility of a ‘grass-roots’ educational institution based on 1) the principle of the teacher-status of all learners and 2) the free availability of social media organized in a way to emulate the best pedagogical models, using among others the lecture-and-discussion model.  It seems to gravitate towards open-ended areas and subjects. The challenge will be to see how it works in less-opened more content-driven subjects.

etmooc

Aside

Well today I stumbled upon Ed Nagelhout’s blog in the Hub, in which he wrote on Philosophies. Moreover I noted that he was involved in teaching grammar,- English grammar. I was interested because it is rare that one is interested in both philosophy and grammar, as I can attest, since I am in the same boat.  My research area was/is ancient philosophy and my teaching area was Latin and Greek grammar.  There are obvious differences, but more concomitancies.or commonalities. I would perhaps connect the two differently but I have missed too much of the talk on ‘connected learning’ and ‘connectiveness’ to hazard a guess there.  In the grammar area I did note that we go about the basics quite differently, though I was very intrigued that his course used inflected forms of fast (=speedy) and fast (=to abstain from eating) as examples to demonstrate inflectional morphemes wherein the ‘base’ (we’d call it ‘stem’) have the same meaning, a fact that would not be intuitive to an English speaker, but in fact ‘fast’ in both uses (as adjective or verb) comes from the same Indo-European root.  Now this is a conversation or turn of thought that does not occur often in this kind of MOOC, but I found it worthwhile, as also Ed’s struggle about consistency in pedagogy and educational principles. Bravo, I say

etmooc

Aside

This did not make it into the hub listing and I want it there so I’m ‘updating’ it.

Today I came across Lisa Lane’s (http://lisahistory.net/wordpress/2012/08/three-kinds-of-moocs/) wonderful article on the 3 kinds of moocs based on network, task, or content and the provenance and the purpose of each.  An excellent working hypothesis. I agree with Robert Maxwell’s comment (http://bioramaxwell.blogspot.com/)  In the discussion of all that I came upon the mention of ds106 (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jimgroom/ds106-the-open-online-community-of-digital-storytellers). It has an interesting video on it, much like a YouTube.  Jim Groom of Univ of Mary Washington in VA started it.  This is certainly an interesting site and shows what community collaboration can do, and hence fits more into “network-based” now; maybe in the future it will become more task or content-based. I see http://ed.ted.com or kahnacademy.org as more content-based and more in line with ‘traditional’ education.

I am at Wooley’s blog on http://peaclassics.wordpress.com

etmooc

Today one of the etmooc tweets on my gmail talked about Clay Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus: How the Internet turned Consumers into Collaborators.  This is an important book about which I have lots of caveats from an educational standpoint.  I agree in general with Tim Walker’s review in general on the rest.  The internet has been the platform that subsidized lots collaboration, but basically of a social or political sort.  Despite what Shirky and Walker say about the early internet as a top-down educational tool, the original net (called Apranet) was rather very definitely academic and an equal-to-equal extension of sharing.  And to some extent it has continued as such, though the most public face of that is the open code initiatives like Linux and Apache, and now Wikipedia.  Cognitive surplus is one way to look at it, cognitive overload is another, but as I see it, the internet has the potential of providing a level educational playing field.  Google at one time wanted to contribute to that.  We need more of that, More Kahn Universities or TEDs.  But even then there will be one ingredient missing, the human driving force that is the demanding and insightful teacher, whether in grade, secondary, or higher education, who knows his or her field or discipline very well (and now must be literate in the new technology which is replacing the lecture hall, class room, books in a brick and mortar library).  I have just found that Shirky’s talk on Cognitive Surplus will not play on TED, so I must now look into that.  Enough for the day.

I am also at Wooley’s Blog on peaclassics.wordpress.com and twitter.com/awooley

etmooc

This did not make it into the hub listing and I want it there so I’m ‘updating’ it.

Today I came across Lisa Lane’s (http://lisahistory.net/wordpress/2012/08/three-kinds-of-moocs/) wonderful article on the 3 kinds of moocs based on network, task, or content and the provenance and the purpose of each.  An excellent working hypothesis. I agree with Robert Maxwell’s comment (http://bioramaxwell.blogspot.com/)  In the discussion of all that I came upon the mention of ds106 (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jimgroom/ds106-the-open-online-community-of-digital-storytellers). It has an interesting video on it, much like a YouTube.  Jim Groom of Univ of Mary Washington in VA started it.  This is certainly an interesting site and shows what community collaboration can do, and hence fits more into “network-based” now; maybe in the future it will become more task or content-based.

I am at Wooley’s blog on http://peaclassics.wordpress.com