Let Information Be Free

Why Going Digital is Essential to Learning

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have dominated the headlines of EdTech in 2013. Everybody has an opinion about their impact, effectiveness, and application. This is, no doubt, a debate the Education/Technology industries should be having. The reach of MOOCs is immense and their potential impact is staggering. Sites/programs like LifehackerU, EdX, Coursera, Lynda, Khan Academy, Udacity, among many others, offer tremendous opportunity for sharing, collaborating, and accessing quality information.

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But let’s take a moment to focus on the how rather than the what. MOOCs are here and they will become more prevalent. What we have a say in is how these courses will exist. Companies will try to fit this new approach into old business strategies. They will put countless hours of time and effort into platforms and programs to generate revenue, but what is going on here is much more significant than just business.

Information, more than ever, has more potential to have a lasting impact on society – any society – if and when it is free. Technology can now support mass consumption of top-quality courses to anyone with a smartphone. Learning, pedagogy, and collaborative pursuits will bloom regardless of technology, but we are at a point where a networked classroom can have an impact on all stages of learning. We need to research how to design online classes to best benefit teachers, students, and schools. Then and only then will we begin to unlock the potential that this technology presents.

Now is the time to shape and embrace. What do you think? Care to join us?

(image teachthought.com)

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