I added one more post to deal with the “attention deficit” issue.
Hrm. Is it about twenty posts too late to jump into this topic, and maybe say something radically off-center to the whole discussion?
So my understanding is that the idea of MOOCs is that it is better to listen/watch/whatever to a lecture by an “expert” (an expert at the topic at hand, or an expert at giving lectures?) than to a present-in-flesh-and-blood person, who might not be so “good” at either the topic or at lecturing. You’ll learn more that way, or something.
Now, watching a video of a lecture on much of anything isn’t my idea of a good time, and I’m more of a reader at this point in my life anyway with interests that wouldn’t attract enough people to make it worthwhile to the content providers to make something for me, but it’s a big world, and I’m not dissing the idea of MOOCs. Have at it, as far as I’m concerned.
Now to twist this a bit. My fear, based on a few years now as a parent of an elementary-school child, with MANY more years to come, is the unquestioned assumption in all of this that LECTURES are THE way to teach and to learn. And that this assumption may be holding back reform & improvement not just of college and post-college teaching/learning methods, but more importantly or primary schooling, where being an “expert” isn’t really relevant at all.
So we’ve got all this energy being expended to expand lectures using modern technology and communication capabilities, AND a massive amount of hand-wringing about primary schooling failing in so many places, when maybe a step back would make one question whether doing the prevailing pedagogical technique digitally, i.e. BETTER!, because COMPUTERS!, is in fact completely missing the point. There’s nothing sacred about lectures, after all. Not that long ago they weren’t used at all at the primary level, as far as I’m aware, and only barely at universities if absolutely necessary.
I don’t think I’ve expressed this very well.
Let the Lawlermania begin! Stranger things have happened. And almost all of them worse.
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