Friday, September 16, 2011

#change11 - Growing Pains

After having just graduated with a master's in cyber anthropology, I am very excited to be a part of Georgia Tech's MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) or #change11. My excitement also speaks to the fact that I am once again in the working world and, inevitably, miss being a full-time student.

Anyway, I'm trying to dive into this MOOC but it's a bit overwhelming. However, I get the sense that that's kind of the point. By nature, a MOOC is constantly evolving according to the instructors and (mainly) the students. Participants heavily affect the flow and substance of the course and, in doing so, produce a large amount of content. Being raised in a fairly traditional education system (as I'm sure most of us were), a MOOC's dramatically different approach to learning will naturally produce some growing pains (emphasis on the word "growing").

My first instinct (as the "good" traditional student that I was) is to try to digest all the information that this MOOC is producing. However, attempting to stuff myself with the vast amount of content coming out of #change11 soon leads to a stomach ache. I'm trying to adopt the advice of the course facilitators: namely that it will be impossibly to read/watch/listen/respond to everything out there. That being said, I'm going to try to post blog reflections on how I'm interacting with the course and what I am learning. Also, instead of brushing a wide surface by trying to read/interact with as much material as possibly, I'm going to attempt to go deeper with a smaller amount of material.

I think one education's challenges in the 21st century is going to be whether they can change and adapt to new technology. Moreover, whether education can embrace new forms of technology to drive different types of learning and increase international collaboration. I think #change11 is going to be a fascinating experiment for all involved.

(note: the picture is from - a great blog to learn more about MOOCs and innovations in education)
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