Clay Shirky on MOOCs: From Napster to Udacity

column | MOOCs

Clay Shirky on MOOCs: From Napster to Udacity

Dec 10, 2012

DISRUPTIVE ED: Fabulous and thoughtful piece by Clay Shirky on the role of MOOCs. Here's the money quote:

"...the fight over MOOCs is really about the story we tell ourselves about higher education: what it is, who it’s for, how it’s delivered, who delivers it. The most widely told story about college focuses obsessively on elite schools and answers a crazy mix of questions: How will we teach complex thinking and skills? How will we turn adolescents into well-rounded members of the middle class? Who will certify that education is taking place? How will we instill reverence for Virgil? Who will subsidize the professor’s work?"

But MOOCs, like MP3 audio files, or say, news stories on the Internet, "unbundle" the "educational parts" of education, he adds. Don't buy the full album; just get what you like. Translated into school speak: Learn what you want, when you want it.

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