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Mark Smithers
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Thanks for the reply Martin. I think that is a fair and correct distinction when you say "being against the education is broken meme is not the same as saying 'everything is fine'". I'm still not sure why you think disruption is a "bankrupt concept". Christensen and others present plenty of evidence for it as a concept. I just think the idea is hugely overused.
Hi Martin, Great post. I completely agree that the silicon valley narrative is a key reason that MOOCs became preeminent in popular reporting. Having said that, just because MOOCs fit that narrative doesn't mean that the reasons they fit that narrative aren't mostly correct. I happen to go along the the higher education is (mostly) broken meme. There is a technological fix available (although it is not xMOOCs in their current form). Disruption does exist (although I agree the term is vastly overused). I don't agree that the solution has to come from commerce. It is interesting though that public higher education could, if they so wish, set up their own MOOCs very easily; the technological hurdles are minimal. And yet they don't. Why not? In terms of the necessity for a revolution; I'd much rather have rapid (by higher education standards), incremental change but all I see is higher education repeating the same adoption mistakes they've been making for the last 20 years. Finally, I don't think the silicon valley narrative is necessarily dangerous as long as we recognise it for what it is as you have very eloquently described here. In the end it won't really matter as long as public higher education and non profits stand up to be counted. Cheers Mark
This all depends on your definition of the university. I am optimistic. I think that universities will survive and most will be unrecognizably different and better than they are now.
@Mike Yes Sarah Stewart has some great eportfolio thoughts and I remember having a lovely chat with we both agreed that all that the students really need is their own blog. I'm sure she'll tell me if I'm wrong :)
Toggle Commented Jun 9, 2011 on Eportfolios - J'accuse at The Ed Techie
I completely agree with the points you make Martin. In my experience I have also observed that eportfolios are often made available to many academics who do not understand what they are really for or how they fit pedagogically. Some academic staff members say they 'prefer it to the LMS because it has a better HTML editor'. Others use it as a pseudo LMS and use it for content delivery and quizzing. In fact, the clearest misuse of eportfolios is as an assessment submission system which I find quite dispiriting. I have often argued that all students need is a blog. I find it interesting that many universities are rolling out Google mail and Google Apps. I wonder if they realise that the freedom offered by the ability to create, sites, blogs and wikis in Google Apps will effectively disrupt their existing eportfolio systems. I have written about this recently on my own blog. http://www.masmithers.com/2011/06/06/the-cloud-as-a-disruptor-of-educational-technologies/
Toggle Commented Jun 9, 2011 on Eportfolios - J'accuse at The Ed Techie
Nice post. I like the analogy. I wonder if we could take it slightly further and say that we won't care how the fruit is grown or even what kind of fruit it is as long as when it is finished it is ripe, tastes nice and that we want more. Cheers Mark