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]
Bridging World History. Moving far beyond a "names and dates" survey of world history, this course from The Annenberg Foundation "is inquiry-based, integrated, and recursive, and uses video, Web, and text materials to provide a comprehensive and interactive learning experience." Explore world history in 26 units that feature videos (courtesy of Oregon Public Broadcasting), text, audio, primary source materials, course guides and activities for students, and a nifty World History Traveler [Flash] pathfinding tool that examines various facets of history in greater depth. Once you're done with world history, you can check out the gazillion other subjects Annenberg offers.
"It signals what’s wrong with the so-called charter school community. Somebody who doesn’t deserve a charter gets a charter. Somebody who doesn’t deserve a building gets a building. And then somebody who doesn’t care about the communities can turn their head and walk away." Venture capitalist and blended learning 'evangelist' Tom Vander Ark committed to opening several charter schools in New York City and Newark, NJ, stringed the Department of Education along until the last possible moment, and then walked away (NYT link).
Learn to Play Guitar! Justin, of JustinGuitar.com (not the dork with the TV camera strapped to his head) offers over 100 free video guitar lessons for absolute noobs & guitar enthusiasts, with lesson categories & written instrx as well. For people who want tablature to play along, the good people of Guitar Video Tabs provide full tab notation under videos hundreds of popular songs.
The Learn List is attempting to become a comprehensive online resource for free tutorials in Flash, PhotoShop, Fireworks, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, ActionScript, PHP, CSS & XML.
Free Online Wine Course from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). We’ll give you a sample of our in-depth, on-site courses by taking you on a virtual journey through three of the world’s top grape varieties.
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.