I have often said that technology amplifies. Motivated students get more motivated. Students that are prone to wander have a great “tool” for that. Take mobile learning for instance. Motivated learners are able to learn anything at any time. Don’t know the word your teacher just used? Google it on your phone. On the other hand, if you are prone to the dark side, you may find that you can send harassing SMSs from any point on the globe from the convenience of your mobile device.
Also of particular interest to me is the concept of open education. From the beginning I have said that this style of education fits me well. I have always loved learning and never been about proving I know something. In other words, the thought that I can go to iTunes U or even YouTube and get the info I need is perfect for me. Actually, beyond “information” I can actually get the “complete package” of a course that will show me how to make an app for my iPhone for instance. Oxford, iTunes, MIT etc. all offer at least some of their courses available for free online. Did you catch that? MIT is offering its courses for free! (and has been doing so for some time) So what’s to stop my from getting my “degree” (without the diploma) from MIT? This is going to change education from the ground up. What’s to stop people from demonstrating they know their content (provided they have the skills, etc. to go along with it) and land themselves a job? One of our readings from this week indicates that the university has historically been the icon of advanced learning. I wonder how long that will be the case. After all, two of the world’s most famous IT leaders, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, did not take formal college courses beyond a few years. How would like change if students did not need us to educate them and sign the paper (diploma) that says they are certified to attend university. I keep hearing that the MA is the new BA. How and why is this true since if some much of what we need to know is open and free?