IAFOR ACSET Featured Speaker Presentation Preview

I am very pleased to be invited back to present as a Featured Speaker at the International Academic Forum this week. The new Asian Conference on Society Education and Technology will be held jointly with the Asian Conference on Education in Osaka starting this Wednesday.

You can see the full program at their site, but here are my slides and abstract as a preview to give you an idea of what I will present. UPDATE: The slightly less wieldy slides with full notes follow.

Getting to the Point: The Least Educators Need to Know About Massively Open Online Courses Now

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) started in 2008 as a connectivist experiment in education. Extremely large MOOCs were convened in 2011, and the term took off in the popular media in 2012. This year, the backlash is well underway. However, these experiments should still be of interest to teachers and have the potential to benefit many learners.

MOOCs have been hailed as revolutionary and disruptive to the status quo in higher education. They have also been put forward as a fix for rising university costs, perceived declines in quality, and problems of access all-in-one. However, few of the ideas behind MOOCs are new. Moreover, as for-profit corporations have co-opted and fragmented the initial practice, there is no longer even a clear consensus on a coherent description of MOOCs.

This presentation will bring educators up-to-date on the current state of MOOCs–including a critical view of their potential. This will help in evaluating MOOCs and making informed choices about selecting courses, using them to augment their own teaching, participating in them directly, or even starting one. Participants will gain a critical understanding of MOOCs and see how this trend may change education in their contexts.

2 responses to “IAFOR ACSET Featured Speaker Presentation Preview

  1. aaronandersonreed

    Ted, I’d have liked to have heard your presentation. To me, MOOCs are one of those examples of how life (and lives, many across the globe) can — and I imagine will — be transformed by technology in a truly massive way. The idea that anyone anywhere can have access to some of the best research and ideas — for free, aside from the cost of a workstation and internet line — is phenomenal. When I read this year’s May 20 New Yorker article by Nathan Heller (‘Laptop U: Has the future of college moved online?’), it really hit me how great the potential is for MOOCs to change lives. If you run up against people with “arguments against” (and you’re losing your voice making the “arguments for”), send them Heller’s article! By the way, is your school in Tokyo considering anything similar?

    • Heller’s article is pretty interesting and for people who take advantage of the education he describes, they are getting something great. Unfortunately, it isn’t all so rosy. It appears that commercial MOOCs, or xMOOCs, like from Coursera are really best for those who already have access.

      Nature reports that MOOCs are mainly accessed by the privileged. http://www.scidev.net/global/education/news/survey-suggests-moocs-are-failing-to-educate-the-poor.html

      On the other hand, so were mobile phones at first. And, we don’t yet know the second-hand MOOC effect. Some in developing countries may be accessing MOOCs and then sharing that education locally.

      This is all so new, it is hard to see where it will go, but like you, I’m optimistic.

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