Monday, March 30, 2015

Sarah Green — What MIT Is Learning About Online Courses and Working from Home


The development of online eduction with the rise of new technology is similar to the transition from the theater to cinema. At first, the obvious step was to film plays, but in the case of the cinema, sound only came later, so the initial step could not be that. As a result, a rich art of silent films resulted that is still relevant today.

However, when sound was put to picture, then the obvious transition was to mimic theater. But it fell rather flat. Subsequently, it was realized that theater and cinema are similar but also very different media and that each as its own proper methodology.

The same holds true for education and the Internet. At first the tendency was simple to capture "great teaching" on video and distribute it digitally at minimum cost, providing access to high quality education globally. Now that is being rethought as it becomes apparent that education digital technology requires an entirely different from the classroom model. The advantage of digital education is that it makes interaction at a distance not only possible but necessary for a variety of reasons, some pedagogical and some social.

MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) are the future and educators are starting to focus on how to optimize learning through this medium. This will have profound effects globally, and it's now starting to happen.

This is already happening in business. A friend of mine is a project manager for one of the big banks. He work out of his home rurally, and the members of a team are far flung in different locations. The interact personally thorough video conferencing although they never meet up in person.

Harvard Business Review
What MIT Is Learning About Online Courses and Working from Home
Sarah Green | senior associate editor at Harvard Business Review