Udacity, who, along with Coursera and edX, has been one of the "big three" MOOC providers is stepping back from its initial vision, to refocus on corporate training. Now that we've had a bit of time to think through the potential offered by MOOCs, and to assess how well they live up to them in practice, what conclusions are people drawing? Is it possible that MOOCs have value, but just aren't the same sort of animal as a traditional "bricks and mortar" course? Jonathan Freedman, from the University of Michigan, thinks so, and calls them "usefully Middlebrow." John Covach of the University of Rochester talks in depth about his own experiences, and frames MOOC courses as more akin to a public lecture series than a college course.
A MOOC on planning and running MOOCs run by a leading MOOC company has spectacularly collapsed [more inside]
Today the US celebrates Digital Learning Day. A free webcast on digital learning techniques (schedule) begins at 9:00 AM EST. There are also a variety of toolkits and resources for teachers and parents. [more inside]
cosmolearning has a ton of college courses and documentaries aggregated in one place. And it was started by a couple of teenagers. I'm impressed.
Can you patent learning? Blackboard Inc. is granted a wide-ranging patent for its learning management system and immediately sues their rival, Desire2Learn. Opponents and documentarians have taken to creating this Wikipedia entry on the history of virtual learning environments.
Welcome to Duke University. Here's your iPod.
The Sakai Project, an open-source course-management software program for educational institutions is being publicly released today. Backed by the University of Michigan, Indiana University at Bloomington, MIT, and Stanford, Sakai hopes to free Universities from commercial products, which have reportedly become increasingly expensive. Here's a nice little write-up from the Chronicle of Higher Ed.
writingclasses.com "The largest private creative writing school in the United States" they claim. Everything is covered, yet nothing on weblogs. How is it possible.