Blended Learning

I’ve been talking about online learning for over twenty years, ever since I realized the power of online discussion forums in which anyone could participate from anywhere in the world. I did research studies in the 1990s on the effect of anonymity in the quality of online discussions among middle school students. I have been a curator of online professional learning networks longer than we’ve known what those networks are. But the online learning that the politicians and  school leaders are talking about now is very different. Whether it’s blended learning or online learning or flipped classrooms, the idea is generally the … Continue reading Blended Learning

What’s not to MOOC?

The two-week break in the #change11 MOOC has given me an opportunity to catch up a bit, and to reflect on the experience so far. It’s now sixteen weeks since the start of the course, which has included thirteen weeks of content, a week of introduction, and a two-week winter break. According to Stephen Downes, the course has 2,000 registered participants. The course web site has had 38,000 visits. There have been 1300 blog posts tracked with the #change11 tag, and there have been 2500 tweets with the same tag. On a personal level, I’ve spent about 25 hours on … Continue reading What’s not to MOOC?

Collective Learning

I’m finally getting to the point with this MOOC stuff where I can reflect and react. This week’s topic, facilitated by Allison Littlejohn, was Collective Learning. She makes the argument that problem solving and collaboration are necessary for learning and life. In the United States, we’ve seen innovation save us over and over again as each generation has worked to overcome the challenges of growing population, industrialization, warfare, medicine, and globalization. In this age of information abundance, we must work together to solve the complex problems of our time. We have to share resources and truly collaborate as we face … Continue reading Collective Learning

Relearning Learning

I’ve been familiar with the concept of MOOCs since Dave Cormier started talking about them a few years ago. The concept is pretty simple. Course materials are posted publicly online. Anyone can participate. Facilitators provide materials in a number of different formats to start the conversation. These might include journal articles, blog posts, videos, or other things. Participants react to this material through the media that’s most appropriate for them. Some will use their blogs. Others may use Twitter or Facebook or Google Plus. They may discuss the ideas on webcasts. Achievement isn’t tied to the number of hours spent … Continue reading Relearning Learning