Change Mooc, Week 18: Richard DeMillo, Ashwin Ram, Preetha Ram, and Hua Ali
Social Networks, Learning Communities, and Web Science –
Web Concepts: Change in Education and the Laws of the Web
Updated pdf available for download from Rich DeMillo, Mike McCracken and Ashwin Ram’s first #change11 session for week 20.
Social Capital: PDF available for download from Preetha Ram and Hua Ai’s #change11 session for week 20.
I haven’t had the time this week to do these two presentations justice – but am recording the links here for future reference.
However, a point made by Rich deMillo early in his presentation really caught my attention and I have found myself thinking about it off and on all week. It was the startling fact that India (where more than half the population is under the age of 20) needs 37000 new universities within the next 10 years (as of today, 4 new universities a week) if it is going to meet the education demands of it’s growing population. China is in a similar position.
Evidently Sir John Daniel as long ago as 1996 warned that traditional universities cannot create enough supply. So the question that was raised is, how do we scale up teaching without simply throwing content at people. Open courseware is increasing and the uptake had been high (e.g. sites such as MITOpencourseware , Khan Academy , the Open University’s Openlearn site, DaveConservatoire’s music site , OpenStudy and there must be many more).
The question that I can’t get my head round is who is the teacher in all this. It’s easy to see that some very talented people, with expertise can provide high quality content. It is also possible through opensource software to facilitate connections between people, so that we can learn from each other, but I am struck by Myininaya’s story – that it wasn’t open content that turned her from a remedial maths learner to someone who could support others in their learning of mathematics – it was her ‘awesome maths teacher’.
So where will the ‘awesome teachers’ feature in relation to the increasing provision of open content. Just how will ‘teaching’ be scaled up to meet the needs of tomorrow’s learners in India, China and the world?