The online-learning challenge - Page 3

Is it about making money or making education free?

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PHOTO BY JULIE ENG, CITY ON A HILL PRESS

The culture betrayed by this vision of UC education is clear — one in which educational models are constructed according to business practices.

Despite the pilot program's rhetoric of innovation and breakthrough, it's not the first to fuse Internet with education. Brown is quick to note that despite her criticism of the pilot program "[she] is not a Luddite." She described to us how the faculty is increasingly making use of online educational aids.

Many professors choose to broadcast their lectures online, allowing students — and anyone else for that matter — to virtually peek in on a lecture, either live or with a delay of hours or days.

Currently, more than 40 UC Berkeley lecture halls are fitted for video and/or audio recording. Thousands of transmissions, from biology to history, have been uploaded to iTunes and YouTube (see sidebar).

Although webcasts are highly popular with students — and students are undoubtedly the main priority for the program — people are tuning in from all continents, according to Benjamin Hubbard, who runs the webcast program.

For Hubbard, webcasts "[broaden] the window of access to all the scholarly activity on campus. We are fortunate in that we are public university, so first and foremost we have a mission of community service and making this content freely and publicly available matches this mission."

 

THE PUBLIC OPTION

Recognizing the enormous challenges of decreased accessibility and increasing cost, a growing consortium of educators and researchers are building momentum and developing a vision for a truly public online educational program.

Lisa Petrides, president and founder of the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education, calls herself a "public education fanatic." She told us that the instead of using online teaching as a money-maker, schools can adopt a principled, egalitarian approach.

Petrides is a signatory of the Capetown Declaration, a manifesto for the open education movement. The declaration calls for collaboration that cuts across institutional lines; for the use and promotion of free educational resources; and for policy support for open education.

"You start to have this pedagogical collaborative community that can use resources in this way, changing how we teach and how we learn," she said. To take analogy for computer software, Petrides says her movement is akin to the open source movement.

Now there's an innovative approach to online education — with its eyes on the future, not its pocket.

 

Comments

What ever happened to having colleagues in college? Buddies are not the same.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 13, 2011 @ 3:08 am

The intent of online education is not as a replacement for personal contact but it is to allow educational access to those who would be able to attend. The analogy of "Kentucky to Kuala Lampur" is truly pertinent as it acknowledges the global educational environment in which we live. I am all for online/distance education.

Posted by Delano on Apr. 13, 2011 @ 10:24 am

Just as libertarian capitalism is being forced on us as the new normal even though it has never worked where tried, distance learning and outsourcing students from a collegial environment is supplanting a diverse, face to face liberal arts education because liberal arts is no longer profitable even though it provided the basis for the development of society to this point.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Apr. 13, 2011 @ 10:44 am

Marc is afraid that students will not be indoctrinated correctly on line.

Posted by meatlocker on Apr. 18, 2011 @ 12:59 am

It's not trade-offs we need, it's trade schools. I am coming back to the Bay in 2014/15 to start a trade school out there. I am getting the experience here in Europe to work with trade faculty in union settings. It's very brilliant and there is a huge possibility of getting people into long-lasting employment and session work.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 18, 2011 @ 12:11 am

Since, the time is changed, the way of teaching too. Nowadays students are more inclined to online tutoring services. I think online tutors are best persons to guide students doing their studies. They provide 1-to-1 tutoring to the students. There are several websites available to help students learning math. I personally like Tutorteddy.com. My daughter uses it; she is in 8th grade and has improved a lot after she has started taking online math tutoring from this site.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 29, 2011 @ 11:56 am

Since, the time is changed, the way of teaching too. Nowadays students are more inclined to online tutoring services. I think online tutors are best persons to guide students doing their studies. They provide 1-to-1 tutoring to the students. There are several websites available to help students learning math. I personally like Tutorteddy. My daughter uses it; she is in 8th grade and has improved a lot after she has started taking online math tutoring from this site.

Posted by sandy on Apr. 29, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

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