According to the Teaching, Learning and Technology Group (TLT), a schMOOC is a:
somewhat connectivist, hypothetically Massive Open Online Course. This learning experience is “somewhat” connectivist because it combines structured and non-structured, along with social and individualized, learning options (choose to connect with others — or not), and it’s hypothetically massive because it could attract large numbers of participants in theory (but in practice it won’t).
What I love about about MOOCs and schMOOCs is that they provide a wonderful opportunity to learn, grow and connect with “like-minded” colleagues. I’m currently participating in a schMOOC sponsored by TLT called the “Seven Futures of American Education 2.0 schMOOC: Perspectives, Strategies, Plans.” This FREE course is based on John Sener’s “The Seven Futures of American Education: Improving Learning & Teaching in a Screen-Captured World.” I met John and purchased his book at a Quality Matters conference in October of 2013 and I am very excited to have the opportunity to explore this topic with the author and other learners in this schMOOC.
This course is delivered outside of a traditional LMS environment which takes a little getting used to but it is also a bit refreshing. The course content is primarily “housed” on a google site and we use Adobe Connect for our synchronous sessions and a Google+ community for asynchronous interactions. The course has provided some good examples of effective ways to leverage online tools like Animoto and PowToon (thanks Beth!) and have inspired me to take some time to explore them further. Today we had a twitter chat which was new to me and several of my fellow schMOOCers. I hope to fully engage in this course but even if I don’t, I feel like I have already benefited from the experience.
So far I’m really enjoying all of the wonderful lifelong learning opportunities offered by MOOCs and schMOOCs and I’ll continue to take advantage of this professional development while these courses are still Free & Open.
I had an opportunity to meet John Sener at the Quality Matters conference in Nashville last week and purchased
a copy of his book, “The Seven Futures of American Education – Improving Learning & Teaching in a Screen-Captured World.” I just started reading the book and wanted to share a couple of interesting quotes from the book:
- Over the past 15 years, online education in the US has gone from zero to mainstream
- If the first era in the history of online education was focused on providing access, the 2nd era has the potential to be defined by improving quality — not just for online education but for all education
- Cybersymbiosis – irretrievable dependent on digital technologies (this isn’t a fad that is going to eventually fade)
John led a pre-workshop seminar at the conference about “using the seven futures as a framework to improve educational quality: a dialogue” and I was really impressed that he
stayed for the entire conference. I’m looking forward to reading more of his book.
Interesting presentation titled the “Seven Futures of American Education.” The Sixth Future predicts that the 2nd era (the 1st era is access) of online education is improving quality – not just for online education, but for all education. I hope that the Sixth Future is realized and “Education Improves” because some of the other scenarios are more dystopian. My experience has been that when you ensure the quality of online education, traditional education also improves. This shift to quality assurance is long overdue in higher education. We need to demand that in addition to being content experts in their fields, ALL higher education faculty members are certified to teach, just like our K-12 instructors. I believe that online education has and will continue to be the main driver for improving the quality of teaching in higher education.
This presentation is based on John Sener’s book “The Seven Futures of American Education: Improving Learning & Teaching in a Screen-Captured World.” The Seven Futures posits that we can improve education by “cyberizing” it which means we can use emerging technologies to improve educational quality.