MOOCs: The First Blurb

 

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When do you know your book has actually been published?

When your parents tell you then can order it from Amazon and when the first blurb on it appears in the Library Journal:

Amid the debate concerning the future of higher education, some of the more interesting voices are those that highlight the liberating potential of educational technology. Examples include Haber’s “Degree of Freedom,” a yearlong project that saw the author cobble together a BA’s worth of coursework in philosophy using only massively open online courses (otherwise known as MOOCs) and other cost-free forms of learning, and Anya Kamenetz’s book DIY U. Here Haber presents more than just a summary of “lessons learned” during his experiment in self-directed learning, offering a balanced portrayal of what has been described as an overhyped trend in educational technology. He argues, on the one hand, that MOOCs represent a radical leveling force in higher education; an education from top-notch instructors, previously the preserve of a privileged few who were smart enough (or wealthy enough) to attend elite institutions, is now available to anyone with a high-speed Internet connection. On the other hand, he shows how MOOCs are only part of a much broader evolution in what it means to attend college. Indeed, the MOOC phenomenon may seem old hat to many of the distance learners and commuting students who make up an ever-increasing share of U.S. higher education students. VERDICT While it covers little new ground, Haber’s book is nonetheless a valuable contribution. Its clear-eyed take on all the main issues and controversies surrounding MOOCs makes this the perfect read for students, faculty, and anyone wanting to teach or take this type of course.—Seth Kershner, Northwestern Connecticut Community Coll. Lib., Winsted

Just sayin’ (!)

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  1. Education News / MOOCs: The First Blurb - January 20, 2015

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