Answers for 2012

Every year I try to do a Questions for the year – themes that I think will be interesting to explore and think about. At the end of the year, I go back and see how wrong I was.

For 2012, the Questions are here.

For those questions here’s some answers:

1. Pearson LMS? No big deal. I think the Blackboard free LMS is more important in the LMS space, but Pearson may be doing some things, but nothing big or earth shattering. Of course, a lot of faculty I work with don’t use Pearson texts.

2. Web mining useful? Ultimately yes, but increasingly difficult to do. With Twitter becoming more walled off, Instagram way more walled off and Facebook increasingly walled off, it’s much more difficult to use something like Ifttt to get something cool to mashup. It’ll be interesting to see how open data sources survive, and whether APIs will wither. I’d like to see more open data – I think it’s where we’ll see growth and interesting possibilities emerge. From an economics standpoint, these sorts of niche areas will be tremendous economic generation in the future.

3. MITx? In and of itself is not that big, but EdX, Udacity, Coursera and the others are making MOOCamania running wild on you. Credentials is still a big thing, but I suspect that’s the gateway and where these startups will make their money – partnering with a school who will rubber stamp their findings – or partially rubber stamping credit.

4. Android tablets in Education? Big fart of air. iPads still rule. Android will suffer for the hundred of crappy tablets and lag of killer apps on the platform. For phones, it’s fine; for tablets, not so great.

5. Learning Technologists? Still play their/our marginal role.

2 Replies to “Answers for 2012”

  1. You may have noticed this, but last week Georgia State University announced they will determine mastery of materials learned in a MOOC to give credit. In the state, several other schools are on the forefront of online learning. But GSU is landlocked in downtown Atlanta office buildings. So they have no room to grow and little online to offset. So this is a play to give students options to get credit without GSU having to pay teachers to teach.

    Seems like the challenge for transfer credits (what MOOC credits will model) is the equivalency of courses. Is Principles of Programming based on Pascal really the equivalent of PoP based on Java? Or Artificial Intelligence the same as Driverless Robots? It will be interesting to see where the cards fall in a year or two.

  2. Yes, the ability to transfer and accept credit is always going to be a big problem. In Canada, even though many institutions have defined learning outcomes and measures for what happens in a course, many don’t. I’m also pretty sure that even though my degree is between three different institutions (with some prior learning from a community college) there’s tons of paperwork each semester to get the home institution (the one granting my credit) to accept the credits from elsewhere.

    MOOC’s only exacerbate that tensions between institutions who typically have weak relationships with each other, which is fine – something needs to give if education is serious about education and not training, or cashing cheques when a student graduates (at least in Canada).

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