It’s 11:10 pm in Berkeley and I am in the bowels of the Internet Time Lab listening to Melanie Mitchell tell me what’s up with fractals, dynamics, entropy, Shannon, genetic algorithms, and cellular automata. I find the STEM aspect of these topics boring, so I’m barreling through this MOOC’s recorded videos at a high rate of speed. Melanie is my tour guide and muse.
This is a quality MOOC. Melanie is diligent, Santa Fe Institute is sponsor, and it’s a fine presentation-MOOC. I’m milking the content for my own purposes, hopping around and following an inconsistent schedule.
The recordings have “first timer” written all over them. This communicates just how daring a step this is. It has the flavor of live television in the 1950s when everyone was waiting for the bloopers. No retakes. High-wire act. The material comes across as more honest that way. Maybe James Burke could read the lines next time.
Melanie’s trying so hard I feel obligated to keep plugging away. My relationship with Melanie is similar to my relationship with Angelina Jolie: non-existent, but I haven’t been over to check out the class forum. Maybe there’s some social action going on over there.
Melanie turns us on to how to open and mess with NetLogo, a nifty open source what-if system modeling tool. But then we descend into the first and second laws of thermodynamics. Entropy. Got it. The connection is murky. I’m about half way through, with good intentions but ducking homework assignments.
Two people asked me yesterday what MOOCs are like. I told that them there’s still time to join this MOOC. Don’t be like the parents who want their teen to have sex education but not sex training. You want to understand what’s right and what’s wrong about the variety of activities people are calling MOOCs, just take some. JFDI. (You’re not committing a lot of time; most people bail out early on.)
Higher education in the United States is broken. Costs are ouf of control. Students are dissatisfied. Graduates can’t get jobs. Says MIT’s Andy McAfee, “What’s going on is halfway between a bubble and a scandal.”
I propose we put higher ed back on track by founding Corporate Colleges.
Corporate colleges break higher ed into its constitutent parts and reassemble them with checks and balances more fitting for a pragmatic 21st century education. These Continue reading A Solution to the College Crisis
Tweetstream for #QMOOC during February 27 Hangout on Business+MOOCs
Recognize this? It cost me $1,000.
When my car was detailed, this part of the steering column was damaged. It doesn’t come any smaller. You can’t buy these individually.
BMW has decreed that you have to buy all these parts, even when some of them are perfectly okay. (My car’s issue was with the collar thing-a-ma-bob in the center.)
Dumb design, eh? It’s just like college. There are separable pieces:
- initial assessment, interview, and admissions
- lectures, Continue reading Modularity, BMWs, & MOOCs
Early returns on our MOOC User Poll.
A radical high school teacher came up with the title.
Last year his class ran under his experimental class operating system in stealth mode. Howard Rheingold, Jerry Michalski, and others, myself included, have dropped by. The teacher will uncloak soon to reveal an interdisciplinary approach where students select what to learn from Open Education resources. Learning is experiential and self-directed.
We had scant time to talk because I’m under the gun completing a project but I immediately Continue reading MOOCs = Skinner’s Box 2.0?