So, I was thinking of James Burke and his BBC series Connections. I can hear his velvety voice tracing the evolution of sharing stories around the campfire to the modern day "MOOC".
It's my hope that "MOOC's" become an evolutionary dead end.
I was disappointed with CCK08. I remember my eyes aching from reading a barrage of angry posts about whether George Siemens' Connectivism idea was a learning theory. The energy of the place was loud and obnoxious. To add to the joy, my user profile was screen snagged by someone and added to flicker.
I don't blame the hosts for the behavior of the students. Although, I didn't see much in the way of moderation. It was chaotic and unwieldy.
If it represented a "real" course it would be a first year lecture hall experience, with no lecturer. Picture it.
- People are "engaged" in a clamour of social chatter.
- Paper balls are being hurled around the room.
- The garbage is piling up and starting to stink.
- A couple of ideological thugs start mixing it up in the hallway.
- Some opportunists hijack the A/V system and begin to prostheletize their myopic crap to the dumb masses.
- And finally, the administrators of this post secondary sausage factory, silently watch via CCTV and do not intervene.
No thank you.
Things did improve with change11 and the move to an online conference model. I could focus my time and attention on the sessions that were of interest to me. The live midweek sessions were small enough to interact a little with other participants.
It was a conference - not a course and not very different from the thousands of online conferences underway right now.
Regular attendees (ie people from the community) stepped up to provide human commentary, evangelical services and critiques.
And so we are nearly back to communities with crowd sourced seminars.
How about that?
We are nearly back to Bologna - before the tail started wagging the dog.
I'll stop here ...