Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cell Phones and Daggers: Moocs, Disruption and Change

Moocs are disruptive. 

Open education is disruptive.

The traditional gatekeepers of knowledge are losing their leverage.  Will the ripple effect of major universities 'opening' their virtual doors to students from around the world knock over the dominoes of change? 

I hope so. 

I see a world where access to information makes lives better. Moocs make lives better for those with the self-guided learning skills needed to learn independently.

Free (or almost free) access to reliable, expert curated information is a miraculous opportunity for anyone literate enough to take advantage of a MOOC.  

Combine inexpensive mobile technology with the archived course content available right now, add translation software and satellite bandwidth and the possibility of reaching across the globe into the most remote spots on the planet becomes real.  

Information brings change. Inexpensive and reliable information is a powerful disruptive agent. 

A telling example of this kind of change can be seen happening right now in one of the most war torn corners of the planet. 

Mulukan Ayalu, who may be the busiest man in Dalifagi (Paul Salopek, 2013) http://outofedenwalk.nationalgeographic.com/files/2013/01/Paul-Salopek-Oasis3-1024x683.jpg

This story by Paul Salopek, of an electronic oasis certainly 'disrupted' my thinking: http://outofedenwalk.nationalgeographic.com/2013/01/28/electronic-oasis/ 

The open education based free access to knowledge aspects of MOOCs inspire me. The short term disruption of my online world unsettles me.  

Not a bad place for an educator to be.

~ Dennis