I believe very strongly in students being able to read and write very well but I think we need to expand what we mean by reading and writing to include these new media forms. And we need a level of media literacy that includes a sophistication about how to use what media form, when, why and also when to shut it all and to have a moment to really think through it all properly.
Even much of the not-so-good stuff out there represents a positive development because writing—specifically, writing for an audience, no matter how small—concentrates the mind wonderfully.
One of the challenges of designing an effective MOOC is turning the massive numbers of students from a problem into a strength.
MOOCs today are our equivalents of early TV, when TV personalities looked and sounded like radio announcers (or often were radio announcers). People are thinking the same way about MOOCs, as replacements of traditional lectures or tutorials, but in online rather than physical settings. In the meantime, a whole slew of forces is driving a much larger transformation, breaking learning (and education overall) out of traditional institutional environments and embedding it in everyday settings and interactions, distributed across a wide set of platforms and tools.
I used Google’s new Jazz interface for the first time yesterday, and I really like the filtering options for search results. Two of the search views in particular seem useful for teaching and learning.
The timeline view of the search results allows users to drill down the results by time period. In the example above, I was able to narrow down my search results to a 20-year period, which then yields another timeline with smaller increments. The text search results themselves are sorted chronologically. Certainly, there are a lot of ways to use the timeline view in teaching and learning.
Both views provide a nice visual interface for users to access information.