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Mother Minerva Project

If the phrase “wrecking balls smashing through windows of classrooms” (with an accompanying image) is showing up in a popular mainstream magazine, that can only mean that another high-tech “alternative to college as we know it” option has come online, generating zeal and condemnation similar to the year-long roller coaster ride the MOOC story took […]

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A funny thing happened as I attempted to turn from a fanatic to a leisurely learner. My original thought was that once I was done taking eight courses every three months as part of last year’s Degree of Freedom project, I would still continue to take a couple of courses at leisure, with time now […]

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What I Learned at Fullerton College

The most intriguing aspect of last week’s trip to California was the contrast between the discussions I had “up north” with inventors, innovators and pioneers in new educational technologies (including MOOCs) and the students I encountered at a real-world school (Fullerton College – the Southern California Community College where I spoke at their 100th anniversary […]

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MOOCs and Independent Learners – Fini

I just noticed that this wrap-up piece is actually the 200th posting of the year here at Degree of Freedom. As much fun as round numbers can be, I should mention that while my One Year BA is finishing up, that doesn’t mean this site is going to go dark.  I’ve got some final deadlines […]

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MOOCs and Independent Learners – 2

When this project began year ago, there were over 400 MOOC courses to choose from and today that number is closer to 600.  And if you add to that the number of other means of obtaining free college-level learning (such as curated courses from or lecture-based classes from iTunes U and elsewhere), we are […]

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MOOCs and Intependant Learners – 1

Happy New Year all! With this project winding towards the finish line, I’d like to spend the next few days talking not about the people who made the MOOCs but those of us who take them. As I have pointed out a number of times, I began this project as a cautious optimist over what […]

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The One Year BA! – The Defense

Before explaining why I think taking 32+ online courses in twelve months might be the equivalent of a four-year BA’s worth of learning, I’d first like to ask readers to take a blank sheet of paper and write down the names of every course you took while in college. Depending on your age and memory […]

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Self Curation

Last month, I talked about an Existentialism class offered by that is built from free material (iTunes U lectures, public domain readings, etc.) organized by a guiding hand into a course that can be described as curated, rather than produced and packaged like your standard MOOC. And because of the dearth of new MOOC […]

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Researching Who MOOCs Are For

I’ve been corresponding with someone who reached out via the Contact form regarding what we hope will come out of the “Big Data” being generated from millions of students enrolled in and taking MOOC classes. No doubt the “micro-behavior” of students as they progress through a class will be invaluable to those designing and teaching […]

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MOOCs and the Autodidact

As I mentioned last time, someone interested and truly motivated to learn a subject has no shortage of ways to achieve that goal. Taking a course through a residential or online college is one way of obtaining expertise (presuming time and resources permit), or perhaps a nearby extension school or other adult education program will […]

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