Yesterday I started participating in a MOOC. What is a MOOC? It is a Massive Online Open Course. And what is that? A course, it’s large, has course materials, a way to connect and collaborate in a networked . It is an event around which people who care about a topic can gather together and talk about it in a connected way. You do not pay to participate in the course, you pay for credit if you wish. This is a participatory course and engage with the materials and each other and other material you find on the web.. .. most importantly how you network. The course is distributed by all the content that people find and connect to the course. Change11 is starting now and last to May 2012 this should be a rich learning experience.
This MOOC is Change11 and is facilitated by Dave Cormier, George Siemens, and Stephen Downes. So what is this course all about? Change introduces course participants to the major contributions being made to the field of instructional technology by research today. Geography and boundaries do not define education and who participate in education. For example Change11 has almost 30 guest facilitators from 11 different countries. My observation of this course and MOOCs is that through connectivism we all learn more and better.
MOOCs are boundaryless and test our capacity to learn and absorb information. Taking this course now fits very well with my desire to see what the future will hold in education. “Rapid change” was a search term I was using the other day but “deep change” also comes to mind. Other terms for research, that actually came from the Change11 website include “Hyper growth of information and knowledge” and “Rapid Dissemination of information.”
We tend to define history into a timeline of eras. This current era has been dubbed the information age, the connected era, or the knowledge age. This is also an age of rapid change driven by the disaggregated innovation in technology and the technology driven activities, dominated by the focus on development information by many. This change is currently being supported by a platform of mobile technology. Mobile technology is changing not only how we learn but where and when. These smartphones are bringing us information on the Internet and the ability to share and connect more people everyday. These phones not only push data and information to people but allow for users to create, collect and push information to others.
We are creating new territory for how we communicate, work with others, create and share information. This new territory has no history upon which to draw from experience to make decisions..we have only the present and we can only speculate about the future and impact upon humans, our knowledge and new technologies. This course will allow us the opportunity to collaborate together and experience first hand this new way to learn. In addition to this we can evaluate whether or not this is an effective way to learn.