You don’t have to know me very long to learn that I’m a BIG fan of TED Talks. As far as I’m concerned, they should be on everyone’s “Favorites” list of your web browser. Furthermore, I’m likely to propose that at least once a week employers should require their employees to find a relevant TED Talk to watch as part of their paid work time. It would help them to “think different” (to steal a line from Apple), work different, and improve themselves and our human condition. I’m a fan.
My latest TED Talk find features Anant Agarwal and his presentation on the value of MOOCs and what they have to teach us about the future of education. Have you heard of MOOCs? “Massive Open Online Courses.” In the video clip of Mr. Agarwal, describes a MOOC for an engineering course in which 155, 000 people participated from around the world. That’s right, 155,000. That certainly qualifies as “massive!”
The idea of these gigantic courses being offered in a way that makes high quality education available worldwide and in some cases free of charge leaves my head spinning. What implications does this have to level the playing field of access to quality education? How exciting this could be for a world that has the potential to grow smaller every day as technology brings us all closer together.
And what about implications for “blended education” as Mr. Agarwal describes? He offers compelling insight into how technology can effectively be integrated into the educational environment. There will need to be a LOT of changes for this form of education to become mainstream . . . should it ever “arrive.”
So I wonder, what do YOU think about all of this? Do MOOCs and blended education have the ability to transform the field of education? What challenges do you see? How do we integrate all we’ve learned about the power of relationships in these larger, less personal learning environments? Interesting . . . .