Online education revolution needs fixing

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

The Online Education Revolution Drifts Off Course
http://www.npr.org/2013/12/31/258420151/the-online-education-revolution-drifts-off-course

One year ago, many were pointing to the growth of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, as the most important trend in higher education. Many saw the rapid expansion of MOOCs as a higher education revolution that would help address two long-vexing problems: access for underserved students and cost.

In theory, students saddled by rising debt and unable to tap into the best schools would be able to take free classes from rock star professors at elite schools via Udacity, edX, Coursera and other MOOC platforms.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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You mean all those people commenting on Khan's videos didn't really learn how to factor after 30 seconds when their idiot teachers had been trying to teach them for 6 years?

I've watched a lot of online lectures and they're useful and did indeed help me, but nothing can live up to the hype that surrounded MOOC. Was it just a bunch of "entrepreneurs" who saw a way to make a quick buck while being able to mask it as philanthropy? It sure seemed like that at times.

Also, (near) universal literacy was supposed to lead to a utopia, projectors in the classrooms were supposed to revolutionalize learning, ditto for graphing calculators, language labs, laptops, smartboards, flipped classrooms, etc. Have any of them lived up to the hype?
 
  • #3
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universal literacy was supposed to lead to a utopia, projectors in the classrooms were supposed to revolutionalize learning, ditto for graphing calculators, language labs, laptops, smartboards, flipped classrooms, etc. Have any of them lived up to the hype?
This is pretty right on. Although learning technology has made it easier for me to organise my teaching, the real bottleneck in the learning process is always going to be the work done by the student. This is a problem, because sitting down with a pen and paper and working though a great many examples isn't sexy or exciting or easy (at least it isn't for many people). Yet what many learners expect of a teacher is pretty much simply entertainment. There's this idea that technology automatically makes education better and that somehow wrapping stuff up in the latest delivery format will enable people to just sit back and soak up understanding. Of course, it turns out that things don't work that way and so learners end up disappointed.
 

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