Months ago I had a conversation with a friend of mine who works for an organization with strong ties to the charter school movement. I respect him and a mutual friend of ours, and because I have a visceral problem with the charter school movement, I wonder how he and this other friend could have dedicated their lives to education yet be advocating for school choice and ravaging Diane Ravitch through social media. I told this friend I wanted to understand his POV on the charter school movement, letting him know I was at best a skeptical audience. We talked civilly the entire time and I felt like it was an eye-opening experience for the both of us, but I walked away from the conversation focused on one exchange: I expressed dismay at the continual turnover of teachers in charter organizations was not only harmful for students at the school (as The Onion illustrates here), but was aiding in the erosion of teaching as a profession. My friend’s response was simple: I do not believe teaching is a profession.
Along with the hype, there is a lot of fear in the pundrity and commentary in relation to the MOOC movement: if massified ed takes place on this global, global scale, what happens to teachers? Continue reading →
I posted a link on Monday to Stanford’s announcement of 16 online courses for the Fall 2012 Semester. Stanford does not call these courses MOOCs, but they are free and open to the public. Most interesting to me in the article is mention of the various platforms for the courses:
Stanford is unique among universities in that it is offering its online courses on more than one platform. Each has its own distinct features and capabilities, among them video lectures, discussion forums, peer assessment, problem sets, quizzes and team projects.
The majority of classes will still happen via Coursera, the platform developed by Stanford and used by 16 Universities worldwide. Two courses will be housed at Class2Go, an open-source platform within the stanford.edu realm, whose website speaks heavily of Khan Academy in its design (and thus its pedagogy?). A third platform, VentureLab, is also housed at stanford.edu, and sells itself as a collaborative platform for MOOC learning.
What will multiple platform options mean for educational pedagogy? Is this the move toward turning a profit on MOOCs?