Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Seminar on MOOCs, Lyon, France, Day 2

Again these talks are all in French so my note-taking may be inaccurate in places.
 
Denis Gillet
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
Environnements personnels d'apprentissage ou d'enseigments


xMOOCs - the good
    - democratozation of access to learning
    - rethinking the way knowledge is transmitted - flip the classroom
    - rethinking the role of the universities    - flip the institution
    - facilitation of continuing education - interestingly, many of our students already have degrees
    - feedback on progress
      - the bad
    - english-speaking hegeonomy
    - scholarly style - vs a more open European style
    - reduction of diversity
    - need for a production team
       - the challenging
    - competition between institutions and centres
    - lack of control of IP
    - lack of control over personal data
    - fraud or identity theft
    - private intermediaries for evaluation
        - opportunities
    - cMOOCs - connectivism in action
    - it's important to use open standard
    - MOOLs - massive open online labs

Questions:
    - are institutions centers of learning or of teaching?
    - does MOOCification result in reduced quality? Can they improve quality without reducing proximity?
    - can the collection of personal data be negotiated?


Personal Learning environments (Environnements personnels d'apprentissage) (APE)
    - channels of communication
    - cloud resources - OERs
    - peer learning in social networks
    - SaaS

    Example: Chinese site - EPA dans Liferay
        (similar to an iGoogle or Pageflakes site)

    Social platform for personal learning environments:
        - enables agile creation of shared spaces for learning activities
            http://graasp.epfl.ch
            Allows you to specify audience, roles, entities
    PLEs in an institutional context
        - added value:
        - supports spontaneous activities without LMS
        - organize activities with external colleagues without access problems
        - flexible organization of student activities

    Responsible Open Learning Envrinments - ROLE
        - principally for students with sufficient digital skills
        - Reseau European d;Excellence STELLAR en Nouvelles Technologies Edicatifs
        - developed to teach the same menthods of collaboration found among reserachers

xEPA - Environments to support cMOOCs

    - designed to support connective activities
    - continuum betqween xMOOCs and cMOOCs, across domains:
        - aggregation & dissemination - generated a priori or found by participants
        - tutoring and evalaluation - normative or formative
        - sequence and structure - imposed by platform vs created by participants

    - Extensibility of Environments
        - project: tranforming platform for APE to support for a cMOOC
        - a lot of talk of OERs - less about the extensibility of platform services
        - these are typically scripts
        - eg. peer evaluation, questionairre creation, group formation, competence exchanges, etc.
        - Result: Open Social Web Apps

Case Study
    - principle innovation of xMOOCs - studented content in 15-minute chunks
    - cMOOCs and xMOOCs in social media
        - two student spresenting to each other
        - group projects
        - peer evaluation

Context
    Go-Lab - Global Online Science Labs for Inquiry Learning at School
    - mass access to:
        - scientific data
        - virtual experiences & simulations
        - actual scientific labs and instruments
    - as a means of access applications   
        - eg. analysis, interactivem visual

Motivation
    - practical leanring in science and engineering
    - support for professional competencies
    - support for the scientific creation and validation of learning
    - environment: circle linking
        - online labs
        - communications apps - eg. opensocial
        - cMOOCs
        - Go-Lab - private space for students to sstudy
        - edX - integrated space
    - Example: ILS MOOL

http://www.emoocs204.eu
http://react.epfl.ch
http://moocs.epfl.ch


Philippe Gillet
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne




    - The president went on a trip to California and came back talking about MOOC revolutions. We did a seminar with all the teachers and talked about it - talking in very general terms about the digital revolution, about MOOCs, etc. Open access, crowd sourcing.

    - MNOOCs in context - the idea of crowdsourcing (the example of the public solving a protein structure problem). Michael Nielsen, 'Reinventing Discovery'. Also the example of Wikipedia. The Human Brain Project.

    - Grouping of professors - you will always run into these personalities when launching a MOOC initiatuive
        - Le gourou de MOOCs (mooc guru)
        - Le Veteran
        - Le Pessimiste - the sceptic

    - MOOCs - the latest in a long line of educational innovations - eg. CMC, LMS, e-learning, etc
    - EPFL - centre for distance eductaion - huge increase in enrollments in 12 online courses
   
    - What have we done (one year later)?
        - productionm disseminatiion, collaboration, coordination
        - for us, it's not just a couple of professors mounting video
            - it requires rethinking pedagigy, collaboration, etc
        - platforms - Coursera, edX - no reason to pick one of the other
            - but also, we don;t want to depend on one or the other

    - So - why make MOOCs?
        - visibility - to augment the reputation of l'EPFL - future profs and students can see our work
        - internally, to support learning
        - tecahing in french-language countries (esp. developing countries)

    - outline of the MOOCs created - different models, English and French
        - geographic distribution - global
        - it's difficult to reach Africa - but with partnerships it is possible
        - the challenge: access to internet (it's what makes the difference)
        - dropout rate - common across all courses
            - a good MOOC has 10% of finishers
            - the best MOOC in this regard is the Scalia one
        - sampling successful students:
            - they like flexibility
            - they like watching the videos together
            - students demand data privacy
            - they want contact with the professors
        - professors:
            - we should have taken before-after pictures of the professors
            - takes a lot of work
            - it's risky, physically (because of the work) & in visibility
            - but they are happy to open the door to their teaching - ed has never been so exposed
        - student participation
            - on the surface - videos and quizzes
            - deep learning - in the assignments

        - Center for Digital Education MOOCs Factory
            - to guarantee a minimum quality
            - MOOC studio - design, record, review, etc
            - editorial process: committee, design, production, etc
            - MOOCs are more social than you believe
                (picture of a group watching a video together)
            - MOOCs - the new textbook?
        - Problems:
            - plagiarism is massive
            - flipped classrooms are difficult to set up; students want lectures
            - difficult to manages internal and external students
            - privacy
            - teacher workload
            - mosts - MOOCs don't make money


Alain Mille
Lab. LIRIS, Universite Lyon
Research questions and methods on the MOOC: what's new?


- what is a MOOC? May seem easy to identiofy the objevct of study...
    - xMOOC - top down
    - cMOOC - bottom up? constructivist?
    - iMOOC? - i for investigation - neither top down nor bottom up

- the web context - a man-machine complex environment
    - the fact that a new way of learning emerges form this enviornment is not surprising
    - the web is widely available - no place where it'snot present
    - we turn to the web to find information
    - many e-learning conferences (like to Wright list)

- Personalizing - adapting the learning process
    - change in focus from content to student (information vs process)
    - personalizing larning, learning analytics
    - gaming - gathering contributions of thousands of learners
    - today's games are simple - tomorrow will include mobile, etc
    - assessment  digital badges - peer-to-peer assessment
    - learning analytics - beyond logs, look at interactions
        - analytrics cab be a form of assistant, presented to the student
        - but againn data privacy concerns
    - learning activities
        - self-directed, atc
        - learner as co-designer
        - eg, like a mash-up

The COAT project (Connaissances Ouvertes a Tous)
    = Open Kowledge for All
    - animating the french reserach neto=work
    - MOOC pilot in Lyon - design-oriented researccg
        - can we use this in a rtional way?
        - developing genericm applications for website.       
        - model - design run the MOOC, evaluate for knwoledge
    - eg. Dokuwiki



       
Eric Bruillard / STEF
The Force of Number


- in this talk, a different stance on MOOCs
- in 85/86 we tried to convince everyone how important hypertext was, now everybody is convinced
- MOOCs are similarly a rapic innovation
    - democratization of knowledge
    - sharing of learning
- but it is also an avatar of past failures - the myth of the 'best course ever'
- innovation is firstly institutional
    - but learning is artisinal
- the x/c dichotomy must be overcome
    - DL + social learning + temporal framework

- the force of numbers
    - submitting to catholic law and english rule
    - gaza - a parallel
    but:
    - opportunities in large numbers, eg. analytics
    - richness of social networks
    but: processing is more marketing than cognitive so far (A/B testing)
     - and the tension between the individual and the collective
    plus: the ideology of reducing everything to numbers
        - education as technology
        - does big data explain or does it merely predict?
    - do moocs legitimize this sort of management?

Example: SITE 2014 - Paul Kim
    - massive global classroom
    - learning analytics and 'team projects'
    - but: it's a 'Darwinian standpoint'
    - if people are autonomous it will work

Example: Wikipedia
    - is Wikipedia like the MOOC? - decfrie, but everybody uses it
    - it is a collective activity - how do we understand this?
    - what does it produce? (what is its product?)
    - but not after a 'process of professionalization' there are in reasing recruitment difficulties
    - how do we assess the quality of articles? We don't understand collective writing yet

Openness
    - free registration for all,
    - but that doesn't matter if the rhythm is imposed
    - 'idiorythmie' - each according to our own rhythms
        - but MOOCs impose a rhythm

Autonomy
    - paradoxes of autonomy
        - doing what you want, when you want, vs
        - without autonomy, there must be support
    - the simplest would be to have a collaborative class
        - but whaat is the role of the tutor?

So, what do we learn?
    - autonomy and force of numbers - little rapport?
    - yet we have Google & Wikipedia
        - privileged links between the biggest actors on the web
        - potentially, we have access to everything, but in practice, we have access to Google results
        - how then do we give *(and support) individual autonomy?

So, learning...
    - inclusion in a learning system inside a social system (R. Hotte)

Why MOOCs? Who uses them?
    - not a simple answer
    - mostly lifelong learning - but also fun? to find a job?
    - survey - MOOCs are largely reaching the privileged
    - the rich get richer - MOOCs ppush this process along
    - it pushes right at the point of conflict between pubic and private institions
        (and the border between them vanishes)
    - teens use technology for fun in very different ways than what learning requires
    - universities are now facing a new (and very different) audience

MOOC dropouts
    - why? what would keep participants engaged?
    - three profiles (at least) of leavers:
        - free auditors
        - those who little by little abandon it
        - those who come and go
    - what is at stake is to find a tool to understand the reason for these failures

Example - English composition MOOC
    - is it a blog?
    - drawing of course - everybody doing everything
        http://world.edu/im-failing-my-moox/
       (drawn by a student relating his experience)

I. Quentin, M, Khaneboubi (factors influencing the dropout rate / success of a MOOC)
    - importance of the brand (eg. Stanford)
    - impact of 'reception conditions'
        - effect of proximity, video, discourse
        - control of video by the user
    - comportment - how people take the course
        - alone or with a group
        - checking the quizzes before video
    - the 'personalities'
    - collective phenomena, belonging to a group
    - availability of learning technology (ie., the absence of technology problems)
        - eg. automatic correction
    - tutors
    - certification

Example: MOOC on the MOOCs
    - Matthieu Cisel

Example: teaching and learning using digital technology
    - ENS Cachen and ENS Lyon, partners
    - focused on digital pedagogies
    - experiment in french versions of MOOCs
    - understand how to have a national look with local learning (ie., articulation)

5 Design principles
    - collective design and distributed delivery (eg., many authors)
    - allow enrollment in groups (binome et trinome) to support co-learning
        - this is a question of time and flexibility
    - offer the MOOC as supplemental resources for higher education
        - adapted to local contexts
    - participate in existing social networks
        - eg. les IREM Sesamath or e-Greta
        - they produce textbooks & have a collaborative working platform
    - associate the MOOC with research
        - it's easy to find unhappy people, more difficult to find satisfied ones

Projects / Tools
- ReVEA - living reosurces, communities that support them
- RPE - social learning network
- CALICO - sharing of discussion, analytical tools
- Castor - information concours with 180,000 participants; we have gathered this data   
- sharing of reserach data (eventually scientific publication will be possible only if data is shared)
- MOOC

MOOC pedagogies
    - pedagogy has to be reinvented, compatible with social patterns
    - there's a new science of learning - construction, diffusion, sharing
    - conditions of learning in the other culture
    MOOC = EAD + RS + participation conjointe

Mark Bernstein - 3 metaphors
    - working in a mine
    - working in agriculture
    - working in manufacturing (industrial organization)
        -> where do MOOCs fit? Where does information work fit?




Marcel Lebrun
MOOCs: Between fossilization of practice and development of digital pedagogy


- wil talk about learning, collaboration and distance
- I'm not an educator, I'm coming from nuclear physics
- But I often say, students are not elementary particles

- when my parents asked me what I learned at school, I said 'nothing'
- you always learn alone but never without the others

- in the talks today you heard about MOOCs that could carry knowledge to the entire planet
    - but is there a risk of global cognitive autism?
    - it is true for every human tool
        - Plato Phaedrus - 'writing is a tool for reminiscence, not memory'

- paradox of writing - it never happens that one technology replaces the other
    - they complete each other
    - before thinking of digital pedagogy, you have to think of pedagogy itself
        - because learning fundamentals have not really changed
    - John Biggs: it is coherence between objectives that matter
        - what are the goals of these learnings (x,c)?

- toward a principle of cohherence
    - evaluation: tools, objectives, methods
    - constrictivist alignment (Biggs 1999, Lebrun 2007)

- objectoves - you said competences?
    - when I began, it was simple - students had to integrate the knowledge
    - but in 2000s - voila les learning outcomes
        - not only did students have to perform in a context, they had to prove their competence (eg. with badges, portfolios)
    - knowledge is more and more externalized
        - lectures are available on the intternett
    - "we don't have an empty mind, we have a free mind" - from Serres
    - now we have the MOOC & we are going toward MOOC industrialization - actors read the lecture
    - Serre - our brain is made to develoo competence, to criticize knowledge
    - Stigler, reply - sociual networks are not toxic - iot shows we can use new technology
    - points to 'digital competences' - collaboration, criticial thinking, etc
        - everybody agrees about these XXIst century competencies (he says)
    - a continuum of competence development is needed

Learning by doing
    - competences are built by doing - but is knowledge build by doing?
    - speaking about project management, you can find plenty of textbooks
        - do you not think knowledge is built upon knowledge?

    - "training may be regarded as preparation for future learning opportunities. It is an interactive process and an intentional activity," (Broown & Atkins, 1988)
    - "I never teach my students - I merely provide the conditions where they can learn."
    - "I insist. What is there to transmit? Knowledge? It is everywhere on the web..."

- e-learning - forms
    - mediation of resources
    - mediation of conversation

MOOCs debark...
    - and universities in their current form will disappear (say the press reports)
    - demand the student exprrience of students
    - CCK12 - top down vs bottom up
        - socio-constructivist pedagogy
        - no they work in a network equally - more horizontal structures
    - vs. UBerkeley on YouTube - traditional pedagogy - teach, train
        et. al.
        vs. blogs, Google+, Twitter, etc
        + personal Learning Environments
    - they created their own connectivism MOOC around these courses
        - so what are they going to do with their campus?
        - we will have to bring out a new model for these institutions

    - it's MOOC and MOOC (comparing moocs to travel guides)
        - co-learning (trip-advisor; you add comments to evaluate)
        - teacher, traditional pedagogy (Michelin guide; you grade with stars)
    - I'm thinking of a combined approach (without falling into fossilization))
         - hybridaztion
            - we still need the lecture
            - we still need text
        - remember Luther taking a book and saying we will be able to access knowledge
        - it's typical human activity - with new tech, we first try to reproduce the old
            (examnple of digital photos)
    - as well, a new consideration of concepts such as presence/distance, teaching/learning, space/time
        - if you are doing transmissive teaching you can do it at a distance
        - but learning requires presence
        - so now space-time interferes with learning
            - comparing flipped classrooms with Coursera

    - eLearn2 - an x-c-MOOC
        http://www.elearn2.eu
        - online learning, tutorials based on individual projects - 30 participants
        - this embedded in a larger class online with 860 participants
        http://claco.univ-lyon1.fr
        - another 490 person google group overlapping
        - this way you always have someone answering the questions
            - it's a critical mass phenomena

    - the fossilization...
        - you can't use new technologies with old methods
        - you can't use a vacuum cleaner to beat a rug

    - TIC and pedagogy
        - what is the impact of technology on technology?   
            - LMS, MOOC, etc. 8could* comntribute to pedagogical development (this is the promise)
        - but meanwhile, the positive impact of technology *requires* a learning disposition by students
            (this is the condition)
        http://youtu.be/w5OqlbrXiOE

Monday, November 25, 2013

Notes from Centre Jacques Cartier seminar on MOOCs, Lyon, France

Summary notes from the conference in Lyons - most of it was in French (except the Tony Bates talk) so there may be some inaccuracies in my notes. 

John Daniel
MOOCs: Comment Sortir du Labyrinthe?

- MOOCs - created in Canada
    - a revolution in higher education
    - an evolution, not a revolution (much like Paris 1968)

- MIT electronics course
    - 340 perfect scores, incl. a 15-year old from Mongolia
    - final exam was "very difficult"
    - but he had to retake the course at the MIT campus
    - the 'MOOC revolution; is that elite universities opted for openness
    - but: universities have not found a sustainable way to fund MOOCs
        - costs: $50K, revenue: 0

- USA - public universities are in difficulty
    1. in 2012 registrations declined
    2. Fee inflation
    3. Middle class earnings not increasing
    4. 46% fee increase in 10 years
    5. Financing down
    6. fees as a proportion of revenue 62%
    7. Fees discount an additional 50% reductoion
    8. Student debt has doubled since 2007
    9. Student loan debt has reached a billion dollars
    10. taux de bebot 17%
    11. 53% of diplomas without employment
    12. parents
    13. 46% of university students do not complete
        - it is not evident that MOOCs will solve these problems
        - doesn't solve budget problems, nor completion problems
        - MIT etc. 'copycat' MOOCs
        - like a stampede
        - xMOOCs

- 2014 - evaluation of MOOCs have started to arrive
    - what do we need?
    - most important - combat les chausane de jeunes
        - it's a generation without employment
        - it's very bad in Europe
    - economists: break down cartels, build bridges between education and work
        - do MOOCs provide the tools for this?
    - 2009 - world congress on weducation:
        - understanding teh demand for higher education
        - new dy6namic: diversity offerings
        - higher ed post-traditional
        - MOOC - subjects relevant to work
            - recognition of success
            - xMOOCs - created respectivity to online learning
                - if it's good for Harvard it's good for us
    - multiplication of MOOC platforms
    - expansion of MOOCs outside North America

- Commonwealth of KLearning
    - MOOC on mobiles for development - started Oct 2013 - V. Balaji
        - 500 subscriptions from sub-sahara africa, etc
        - used multiple-choice tests
- Taylor's Unibversity, KL, Malaysia
    - 2 MOOCs - Entrepreneurship, Emoptional Intelligence
    - influencesd by cMOOCs CCK08
    - they underestimated the response - most people were from the west, looking for an Asian perspective

- Academic Partnerships - MOOC2Degree
    - to now, assisting universities make online degree programs
    - aim - to have them graduate at rates at elast as good as on campus
    - eg. University of Texis Arlington
    - Free+Open for credit
    - the uni gets no revenue from the MOOC, but gets revenue from following enrollments

- Jeffrey Young - Chronicle - "Beyond the MOOC Hype"
    - most people in moocs already had diplomas
    - the demantelement the higher ed
    - eg. OERu - launched Nov 1 2013
    - use OERs to obtain recognized credits - 'aanchor partners'

- France Universite Numeric
   
- Question of quality
    - Academic Partnership - Guide to Quality in Online Learning
    - structure: reponse to 16 questions
        - concentrates on more structured formss of learning (vs eg. iTunes U)
        - partners: Coursera, FutureLearn, AP
    - but - the university remains responsible for quality
    - studnet perspective, coproduction of students in their education
    - list of elements of quality - eg. course structure, rogor of the exam, etc
    - criteria for students: good tutorial, good tech
    - 2nd Guide - guide to quality in post-traditional higher education
        - new types of recognition, eg. badges
        - challenge: how it can be superior to traditional higher education
    - problems created by the ex[pansion of the term 'open'
        - rapid innovation, less bureaucracy
        - but - no quality assurance, contrecoup
    - a 'quality platform' for post-traditional higher ed
   
- How to exit the maze
    - put learning at the heart of institutions
    - MOOCs with badges and REL
    - a method for recognizing quality

Questions
   
    - 'open' - George - Courseras, etc. - not 'open'
    - working on policies, etc., to stimulate production of OERs
        - eg. BC - policy to produce and use OERs
    - question of what FutureLearn will say
    - a lot of people use the term MOOc to refer to all online learning

    - on the number of people who already had degrees
        - they are the first to know of the existence of MOOCs etc
        - but now look at eg. FutureLearn students
        - it's normal to see this pattern


Tony Bates
Making MOOCs really useful


- drivers of change

- new skills:
    - knowledge management - how to find, apply & use information
    - independent learning
    - critical thinking
    - IT skills embedded in subject (ie subject-specific IT)
    - modern communications skills - eg how to create a youtube video
    - team work
        - are we teaching to those skills?

- credit-based online course - steady 10% increase pa, compared to 1-3%
- quality standards - has a list of 25 quality standards
    - process-focused
    - most are completely unknown to teachers online
        - esp. those going into MOOCs

- Ontario experience
    - 85-95% completion rates (about 5% less than in-person)
    - most of these institutions use best practices

-standards vs innovation
    - tried & true, we know they work, but only in a fixed conext
    - more risky, and needed
        - MOOCs = a massive innovation

- blended & hybrid learning
    - now, tends to be a 'flipped' classroom
    - problem: students don't watch the lecture before the class
    - but you can do more - send students out to find material, & then return to classroom
    - raises question: why get on the bus?

- mobile learning - future of online learning
    - affordances - things you can't do in the classroom - eg., go out and do stuff
    - in developing countries - cheap phones
    - costs $2 to download an 8 minute Youtube video

- OER - licnesed with CC - "protects the rights of the faculty member"
    - open access mandate - vs publishers charging to publish
    - but they're not courses
    - you don't have open course designs

- Sims - web 2.0 - etc.
    - from a pedagogical perspective, this is the most important element of all
        - students find stuff, the content is out there on the internet
        - why create it if it's already there?
        - assessment through e-portfolio

- MOOCs - how much do MOOCs address those issues?
    - started with cMOOCs, evolved to xMOOCs (knowledge transfer)
    - easy to access, minimal costs, high-quality content
    - "nobidy would expect to take an exam after watching the history channel"
    - all for MOOCs if they are not designed to undermine HE system

- But - massive non-completion rates - but if they're not after a qualification, who cares?
    - lack of student support
    - difficult to assess
    - poor online pedadogy
    - massive hubris - the president of Carnegie Mellon says, "there's no research in online learning"
   
- MOOCs in content - open learning 40 years online learning 25 years
    - but the research encompases 1,000 journals
    - the xMOOCs are all driven by computer science
    - MOOCs fine for non-formal university education
        - but if they want to do for-credit they have to account for the reserach

- Three basic of online learning
    1.  teaching, pedagogy - I have to transfer knowledge - or, is knowledge constructed?
        - lectures are a terrible way to teach - but MOOCs do this
        - they don't transmit 21st century skills
        - (explanation of 'knowledge is constructed')
            - how do you push them beyond the surface to the deeper knowledge?
            - it's not experiental knowledge, it's abstract learning
            - 'scaffolding' to move from the known to the unknown
            - to develop skills, students need to practice, and get feedback on skills
            - the instructor becomes more of a guide than a facilitator
            - on a massive skill, knowledge as transmission is easy, but knowledge as construction is hard
                - that's why MIT won't give credit - students don't get the "magic of the campus"
    2. learner support
        - to get the ttype of knowledge, students need structured activities
            - reserach, discuss, evaluate, do
            - instructors' online presence critical
                - knowing someone is out there is a huge motivator
                - needs high level of expertise
    3. cost
        - for a fully online masters program - full cost recovery per-course payment
            - course development 13 percent
            - delivery 36 percent
        - learner support is the really expensive part of online learning
            - MOOCs - high development costs - $100K+
                - maintenance - $30K
       
- Suggestions for better MOOCs

    1. pedagogy
        - design so students evaluate, apply develop high level skills
        - faculty as teaching cosnultatnts - oversee learner support
        - monitor peer-to-peer learning following bets practices

    2. learner support
        - increase faculty online presence - eg. text or video clips
        - judicious 'massive' online intervention in discussion/assessments
        - greater use of well-trained adjuncts (not TAs) supervised by faculty
        - computer modeling of scaffolding
            - how can we take students from the known to the unknown

    3. redistribute & rethink costs
        - get away from development & production
        - put more into learner support
        - do MOOCs have to be free? $10 puts a lot of money in
        - could you outsource learner support (w/ link to quality controld, learner accreditation)
        - identify high-cost areas and seek quality computer-solutions to address these?
            - but we've been working on AI for a long time
                & all we have are baank tellers and voice-mail trees
        - get students to find & apply information
        - get students to demonstrate learning through multimedia and assess

- MOOCs are not the answer
    - xMOOCs are driven by technology: lecture capture
    - deep learning requires knowledge construction

    - we need a more market-driven approach to teaching tech/choice
        - what do employers need?
        - what do individual students need?
    - all teaching will incorporate digital media
    - rethink campus experience
        - describes commuter campus in TO (York?)
        - maybe we should engage them with hybrid learning
        - the biggests de students at UBC were final-year students

- Will MOOCs democritize hugher ed
    - elite campuses for the rich, MOOCs for the rest?
    - will MOOCs have anything to do with overall income inequality?

- Q on 21st century skills
    - learning history by doing the things that hostorians do
        (example - groups, etc - he changed his teaching method)


-

Anick Suzor-Weisner

Agence  Universitare de la Francophionie
780 members, 6 institutes, HQ in Montreal

FOAD - Formation ouverte a distance
CLOM - Cours en ligne ouvert et massif
FLOT - Formation en ligne ouverte a tous (portail Ocean)
TICE - Technologie de l'information et de la communication pour l'education

- will guve a short history of MOOCs
- and talk about how to integrate them without fanaticism

22 years of online learning
    - 1st francophone digital campus - 1991 Dakar (Senegal)
    - FOAD - support for universities in the south
    - AUF - support for southern universities:
        - grants to institutions
        - bursaries
Experimentation:
    - project management MOOC - 300 people, certification in Dakar and Ougadougou
    - collaboration with FUN (France University Numerique), RESCIF (formations d'ingenieurs), Ocean

Campus Numeriques Francophones (CNF)
    - 44 cnf - 22 offer southern university campuses

3 volets (flaps)
    1. creation of FOAD for employability
    2. creation of CLOMs - MOOCs
        - using the FUN platform
    3. Creation of a masters in TICE faavoring hybridization

Principles: sharing of competences, partnering, networking
Objectives:
    - reinforce the competences of the south
    - evolve teacher pedagogies
    - develop scientific content in french
    - support international influence (rayonnement) of institutions from the south
    - open the university to new publics
    - contribute to the resolution of the problem of massification of higher education

Some signals from Canada, USA
    - Coursera, global learning Hubs
    - Georgia Tech, $6,600 MSC in computer scuence, in MOOCs, partner with Udacity
        - AT&T is donating $2M to get the program going
    - the Thrun article in which he recants...
        - San Jose not as selective as Standord...
        - blaming the students because they're poor
        - the MOOC was not adapted to their target market

Etudes des formations hybrides (Richard canal, J.F. Lancelot, et al)
    - IFIC - Institute de la francophonie pour l'ingenerir - created by AUF, located in Tunis
        - 3 categories of students:
            1. tourists - not engaged
            2. attendees - they do the work but are not completely involved
            3. those who manage their own projects - who are deeply engaged
    - formation de formateirs et Recherche
    - EdX only platform supported by FUN (RECIF launched by the EFPL uses Coursera)
        - when Coursera hosts courses, it tracks all the students, Coursera gets all the data


----

Round Table
   Tony Bates, John Daniel, Richard Hotte, Anick Suzor-Weisner




- some pedagogical cultures are strangers to each other, eg. presentational and distance learning
- communities of practice were a failure - one can create the community but not the practice

- Daniel - I don't pretend to be a mooc taxonomist
- Bates - it seems to me that MOOCs represent a step backwards
    - online discussion forums - were nice because everybody could participate
    - MOOCs - trying to create a central nexus for thousands of people
        - question for MOOC - how do you group people together? maybe by themselves eg. all in Lyon
        - in a credit-based course, takes a long time to form groups themselves,
            - so they just get placed in groups
        - my first course 1500 students in 1988 - put them together & it was chaos
        - the other way - students don't come into a group, you just link them
        - it comes back to, what is the purpose of a group, what are the skills

- about communities of praactice, please expand on the reasons for success or failure
    - success - community about programming
    - a community emerges from a need
    - I saw colleagues trying to create communities of practice
        - the focus was on gathering people then trying to animate them
        - it didn't work

- Daniel - case at OU where it was concluded for a communiy of practice to exist, it had to be an experiment
    - just letting people chat won't lead to a community of practice

- Collaboration of online learning
- Bates - long history of trying to get universities to collaborate, that fail
    - eg. Canadian Open University
    - most successful - online universities Australia
    - no reason not to do it with MOOCs but it's hard to get unis to collaborate
- Anick - nothing stops a MOOC - we are going toward certification
    - topics we can include, some modules north, some south, etc
- other guy - it is difficult to export MOOCs
    - we talked about our social justice web course, that is pretty much a MOOC
    - one student asked where the assessment is - answer, it is everywhere
    - teaching is kind of a handicraft - same course, different teacher = different course

- Q - different model - chorale MOOC, making different experts collaborate on the same object; it would be interesting to have experts collaborate in one MNOOC

- A - Bates - there is the model of OERu
    - it's up to each university whether to accept another's courses
    - it has to go through the Senate, and is very difficult
- Daniel - OERu seen as challenging because it undermines their cost structure

3 questions about engineering
- what is the maximum size for opedagogical quality
- what importance do we give to engineering MOOCs?
- can re reduce cpsts without reducing quality by using MOOCs?

Richard - repsonse is the same -  any training must be developed as a system
    - it has to be thought through originallu - knowledge, assistance and the course
    - courses are submitted to the pedagogical board
    - it takes a year to build a course
    - it's difficult to imagine doing this in ever-changinbg MOOCs
Daniel - no limit to size
    - when it becomes a million, it becoems really difficult from an administrative point of view
    - it's possible to add groups and tutors indefinitely - but it has costs
    - need either a computing solution or bigger groups to reduce the need for the tutors
Bates - instructional design - successful courses have strong ID process with a team working
    - traditionally, it can take 9 months to design a course (you can design for those numbers)
    - demand exceeds supply - there's no question of layoffs, etc - but MOOCs are not an easy cheap solution

Questions related to the quality of MOOCs - what are the 3 characatreistics of a perfect MOOC?

Answer - Daniel - depends on whether I am the teacher or the learner ;)
    - interesting topic - eg. 'Flat Mind'
    - following a MOOC with a friend would intterest me
    - it would be interesting to see MOOCs as a means of making DL on a massive scale
Bates: designed by downes by not taught by him
    - non-credit not for diploma
    - a topic that you can't find information on elsewhere
Richard: identify the target audience - if we design courses for everybody, what will be inside?
    - identify the time spent on themes
    - the means to deliver this well

Bates - the more I hear of this discussion the more I think we shouldn't let universities anywhere near MOOCs
    - eg. measles - wouldn't a Red Cross MOOC about measles become that much more useful?
    - MOOCs would be idea to bring the public into policy discussion
    - thewhole idea of taking a massive could for credit seems wrong for me
    - doesn't mean it's good just ebcause stanford and MIT do it

Q - do you think the existing model of MOOCs would help people to find jobs?
Anick - I would be worried about the credentials of someone who followed a MOOC and did not get the same social comprehension as a student
Richard - there are pedagogical cultures recognized and others not recognized  - in computer science, our students are much better. Why? They use the tools that they learn about. They have to communicate with computers while learninbg the programming language. We forget that everyone has their own community.
Daniel - among the millions in my courses there are examples of people with successful job interviews - but what proportion? MOOCs may be right for young people but not for older people.
Bates - xMOOC - could not get you a job?
    - can cMOOCs - no, they help you in your current job
    - can online learning get you a job? yes

Q - millions of peoploe take moocs - following economics, the value of a MOOC credential will decrease
    - if the aim is massification, what would the resulting value be?

Richard - in West Africam I see university boards in panic about not having enough positions for students
    - we can't be afraid of the massification

Daniel - two parts - 2025: 100M+ students in state universities through regulat enrollment
    - in Africa,how do we do this?
    - the private sector will find the answer for this - it is going to answer the need
    - the private sector is beinbg ignored by NGOs - it has to change
    - everybody - i8ncl. the private sector - has to be considered on the same level
    - eg. University of Phoenix

Anick - there is a geograophical answer. Have enough people locally with the low-level certifications, and maintain them locally.
    - World Bank realizes higher education is necessary, not just literacy
    - we are far from saturation
    - I also think we cannot do without the private sector
Bates - we should start with the problem, not the solution
    - we have huge demand for education around the world, but not always university education
    - no easy solution to these problems - wrong to think of MOOC as the one solution
    - connection bewteen development problems and educational problems
        - collecting taxes, that can be a problem in many countries
    - worst thing to do is to come up with a cheap 2nd best solution for developing countries

I would remark that I am fascinated by the appeal to the private sector whenm their contribution is to make things more expensive


The problem
    - education or empowement?

Q - MOOCs not a pedagogical tool - they are a tool for uni presidents to differentiate themselves
    - they are about distinctiveness and promotion for the university
    - universities will be investing less and less into MOOCs
    - what can we learn about MOOCs for the post-MOOC era that is ahead

Daniel - Harvard did a service by showing MOOCs were not a second-tier business

Richard - Many MOOCs are a pedogical experiment
    - challenge to model of one teachier teaching one course in one university
    - xMOOCs are going to disappear - but there is hope cMOOCs will remain
Bates - how can computer scientists help us scale up - but for that computer scientists have to be more humble
    - like organizing groups on a large scale, very quickly, such that they gell
    - some elements of assessment - don't like computer-marked essay writing, because it doesn't work very well
   

Assessment - Daniel - 155 years ago - University of London - did only assesment - 5 nobel prozes
    - but we're sory of drifting back toward that (assessment-only)
    - but the one-professor model is very deeply rooted
    - but in the US there is an emphasis on learning outcomes
    Private sector - high costs - because pub sector such high cost
        Bates
    - it all depends - it depends on what kind of learning you want to assess
        - eg. knowledge construction - hard to separate - because it's a cycle
        - I was lucky to have small university classes
        - for some levels you will need that - but not for all levels
   Richard - I don't see how we could decouple assessment from learning
        - assessment takes place in specific paces - int eh course, in projects
        - it's very integrated
    Anick - in Paris metro there's a startion called "maison des examens"
        - continuous assessment is important

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

MOOCs will ultimately play a transformational role

This is my contribution to the WISE online debate - you can find other contributions here.


The democratization of the MOOC cannot be underestimated

We have reached the point in the history of MOOCs where the initial excitement is waning and people are beginning to ask questions about whether MOOCs will play a useful role, much less a transformational one, into the future. This comes as record numbers of MOOCs are being offered by numerous providers MOOCs have become a worldwide phenomenon, with Britain's FutureLearn launching in beta and the first Arabic MOOCs coming online.

The criticisms surrounding MOOCs are based in fears that they will replace professors with technology, concerns that the social and personal aspects of learning will be lost, concerns about the need for MOOC participants to be self-motivated and academically ready, and concerns about the high dropout rates all MOOCs have experienced. While some early experiments in certification have been started, there is also widespread skepticism that MOOCs can provide a route to traditional academic credentials.

These criticisms, far from identifying where MOOCs will fail, offer glimpses into the future of MOOCs. For while we may agree that these are weaknesses of the current model, the fact is that the advantages of MOOCs make it more desirable to press forward with the concept, rather than abandoning it and returning to traditional online and classroom-based courses and programs.

The first advantage is accessibility. As the name 'Massive Open Online Course' suggests, MOOCs are available to everyone, requiring only an Internet connection (now 40 per cent of the world’s population, according to the International Telecommunications Union). Even if certification is not available, the fact that participants do not need to pay tuition makes them especially attractive to people outside the traditional university audience. As evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of people registering for courses like Stanford AI (artificial intelligence), there is significant demand for open access to higher education content.

As important to accessibility is flexibility. People can, for the most part, pick their own time to study. Even if students miss the live online presentations, they can view the recorded archive. They can study the material at their own pace, and even if they fall behind, they can continue to access content, work through the examples and assignments, and continue to learn from the course.

The community that develops around MOOC courses has made MOOCs attractive to students worldwide. In 'connectivist' MOOCs, such as those offered by George Siemens and myself, this interactive community is actively encouraged and content contributed to such diverse sites as Blogger, Tumblr, Moodle forums and Twitter feeds is harvested and shared with course participants. In the case of video-lecture based MOOCs, such as those offered by Coursera, communities have developed outside the official channels, as participants meet with each other and discuss the course in their own space.

This democratization of the MOOC cannot be underestimated. It represents a transition in the management of learning from a centrally administered service, such as offered by a corporation or university, to a distributed and essentially unmanaged form of cooperation on the part of students themselves.

And this is what points to the most important element in the future of MOOCs. Today MOOCs are hosted by Coursera or Udacity are based at universities. But over time, they will develop their own presence and their own existence. Take, for example, the Stanford AI course, or the Introduction to Complexity course offered by Melanie Mitchell. While at the moment they are strongly associated with an individual university, over time on sites like Complexity Explorer they will forge their own identity, separating themselves from their university origin.

What will happen in such a scenario is that one course may be offered by several universities. There is no reason why the complexity course could not be shared by MIT, Stanford and the University of Calgary, with local services (such as tutorials, labs and social events) being provided by host institutions, while the content, community and activities are based in the online environment. In the past I have referred to this as the 'online-host provider framework'.

Some pundits have begun to discuss the 'flipped MOOCs', wherein the online MOOC offering is 'wrapped' by the trappings of a traditional course. But this should not be confused with the host-provider framework, where the academic content is defined and provided exclusively by the MOOC providers. Participants will obtain certification from the MOOC provider, which may be converted into local credentials - but the local credentials will be viewed skeptically if not based in the course certificate.

In any case, over time the importance of credentials and certificates will decline. What MOOCs offer is a place and a mechanism whereby individual students can participate in activities and events related to a discipline, work through challenges posed by the course with other members of the community in an online environment accessible worldwide (much like the way open source software works today). These activities leave digital traces, and future employers will not look so much at credentials as they will depend on intelligent software which harvests these traces and constructs a digital profile of prospective employees.

This changes the debate regarding participation and completion rates and even motivation and academic skills. Instead of being requirements imposed by providers on students (usually as a means of assessment for credentials) they will become optional, something students can use to advance their own profile, but not in any way essential aspects of a course. Again, consider the case of open source software (OSS) - a person can contribute as much or as little as they wish, and there's no sense to be made of OSS 'completion rates' or any such thing.

When we view MOOCs as a means of obtaining an education, and establishing a track record, rather than as courses leading to credentials, our original hesitation about the perceived weaknesses of MOOCs can be overcome. The democratization of learning will lead to large and small online courses provided by a range or providers - from major universities to governments to oil companies - but it will be students themselves who decide whether to participate, and whether these courses are worth their time.

Monday, November 04, 2013

MOOCs and Community Colleges

Interview with Patrick Flanagan, who was doing research for New Brunswick Community College (NBCC).

Patrick Flanagan: OK, thanks very much. So the first thing on my list of questions I sent you is about MOOCs representing a shift in teaching and learning, is what we’re talking about here basically a shift from content to learning skills, from teaching happening in one place to it happening in multiple places, to a shift in control of learning from institution to student… Is that basically how you would see the shift MOOCs represent? And, if so, what are the implications for the role that MOOCs can play in the future?

Stephen Downes: The first big shift that MOOCs represent is open learning materials, and I think that’s really key. Right now there’s a wide variety of different pedagogies being tried out with these, but it’s the open access that really differentiates MOOCs from previous forms of online learning. Beyond that it would be the distributed nature of learning that’s seen more often in some MOOCs such as ours and less often in other MOOCs, but there’s the idea here that people can interact and do things not just with the central university environment, but with their own environments and with third party environments like Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, etc.

Patrick Flanagan: Right, and I understand what you’re saying about how not all MOOCs are born the same. So, if MOOCs evolve the way of simply making online education more engaging and effective for learners and raising that profile—and I’d have to say it is making some impact in that respect, although from our interviews with post-secondary education institutions here in the Atlantic and with employers, I must say, in many cases it hasn’t penetrated whatsoever. I was really surprised at how many folks did not know anything about MOOCs, even within some post-secondary education institutions…it hasn’t hit the radar in some respects—so as much as it can raise the profile and reputation, if it were only to do that. Is that a contribution? Is it a tremendous loss? What would you say?

Stephen Downes: You know, it’s reflective of the wider environment. People pick up on things at different rates because they have different sources of input and I think this is reflective of that. You know, if you don’t read Time magazine, you don’t realize that 2012 is the year of the MOOCs; you know, it really is that simple. And so the evidence is, what we infer from that is, that they don’t read Time magazine. So, I would view this observation on your part—and I’m not surprised with it—but I would view this observation on your part as suggesting not so much that we need more publicity about MOOCs, but that the system that you’ve been dealing with needs mechanisms to become more plugged in so that they’re more aware of these things at the time they’re happening and not two to three years later when somebody follows up.

Patrick Flanagan: And so what would those mechanisms be?

Stephen Downes: Well, that’s a question. I mean, most people learned about MOOCs by participation in open online forums and electronic media of various sorts right, so they’re plugged into the wider learning community and that’s, you know, just as an aside, that’s what’s MOOCs are anyways, right? If you remove the course aspect from them, it’s this whole idea of being plugged into this wider community. It means teachers talking to each other in communities online. It means them sharing learning resources with each other.

You know, the very simplest forum they’re engaging in is a discussion list, and the more complex forums they’re engaging in Twitter groups or Facebook groups or whatever. And the evidence here suggests that they’re not doing that. And if they’re not doing that, that would be the problem, not that they’re not adopting MOOCs. So you really need to find ways of integrating them into these online communities. And you know, just as an aside, this is often not the instructor’s or administrator’s fault. If they don’t have good open access to these resources, like if say YouTube is blocked on their campus and Facebook is blocked, which is very common in a lot of places. If these services are blocked, they have no way of talking to people outside their own campus, they don’t learn. So I’d really be looking for ways to open up their access. I mean, even if they subscribe to my newsletter, but if my newsletter is blocked…

Patrick Flanagan: MOOCs have focused largely on the academic side of the house. What about manual skills and the blended training and the opportunity for community colleges with their students to benefit from it? The balance of what’s available out there is very skewed. What advice do you have for the community colleges that way?

Stephen Downes: Yeah, you know, part of the inspiration for MOOCs was the huge range of open learning materials that already exist, and I’ll give you an example. I’ve done recently a fair amount of carpentry in the home. I built a whole set of bookshelves and did my dining room, and I had to re-plaster my ceiling. I learned how to do that online. Or even with my bicycle, like fixing the derailer, I learned how to do that online. I can’t do everything online so, you know, I go into the bike shop or I pop into Home Depot and say “how do you do this?”

So, that’s the inspiration for MOOCS. And what MOOCs were intended to be is introducing that kind of thinking to the academic world. That’s why they’re focused on the academic world. Because the academic world had no clue that this is what’s happening in the real world outside them, because they’re insulated too. So, from the perspective of community colleges this is almost golden, because all of these resources either are available, or can be made available for students and, more importantly, potential students to look at and review before they even come into the college, before they even sign up for a course; they’re able to see, what is welding? What is learning a bead? Stuff like that. They can see it in video. If they’re interested, if the existence of these videos, and the utility of these videos is made known to them, they can look at this, see if it interests them, and it’s like the college comes along and picks up where they can’t do it on their own, gives them access to labs and workshops and facilities to try these things for themselves, gets them engaged in projects.

You know, if I was in a community college I’d be looking at, for example, instead of an auto mechanics program, or maybe it’s supplementary or something like that. I’d advertise, “Refurbish this ‘67 Thunderbird with us! We have ten openings, we’re going to get a group together, we’re going refurbish the Thunderbird, here’s the videos.” Then we’ll come in, we’ll spend all day Saturday working on this, and we’ll take 18 weeks or whatever it takes, and at the end of it, I don’t know what we’ll do with the Thunderbird, but we’ll give you a certificate, right? And there’s no admission or anything. But over time if you get enough certificates you’re going to qualify for this auto-mechanics thing. That’s how I’d do it.

Patrick Flanagan: But what’s gotten in the way? The interest has really picked up on the academic side of the house, it hasn’t really picked up so much on the community college side, why not?

Stephen Downes: Well, because they don’t know about it. You know, they’re insulated for some reason from the conversation and the discussion.

Patrick Flanagan: And, what does it have to do with the resources that the big players, the edX’s and so on, have been able to bring to the table? Is that part of it as well, that the colleges don’t have those kinds of resources?

Stephen Downes: Well, these guys pursue a very deliberate strategy, and it’s really clever. They make announcements and they go in with a big splash. And the effect of this is not simply to market their own stuff, although it certainly does that, but to convince everybody else that “Oh, those guys are doing it, it’s been done, I can’t do this, because it takes so much investment and so much money.” And you know, in the long run, I wonder if that doesn’t do more harm than good. It doesn’t take a whole lot to pull off one of these things [MOOCs], you know. If you compare the cost of mounting the typical college course and you compare the cost of mounting one of these things, they can be very similar, especially if you do it the way I just described—almost low tech, click videos, existing videos that are already there online, things like that, and then you just sort of follow up on that.

Patrick Flanagan: Yes, we interviewed a woman at Fanshawe College, and she had a similar message—“we’ve put this MOOC up and it’s a small group of us and we just worked at it, but it’s quite possible to do, and it’s affordable and it’s interesting and we’re doing it to see what we can learn from it.”

Stephen Downes: It’s sort of like MIT saying, “we have advanced digital photography so nobody else even needs to bother taking pictures.”

Patrick Flanagan: You know, with your knowledge of the field, I wanted to see what you would advise colleges, where they would look for leadership and tech-oriented PSEs that are making good use of large-scale online delivery. Is there somebody that you would say, “Explore what these folks are doing?”

Stephen Downes: Well, the first thing’s Athabasca University that pops to my head. Rory McGreal. He’s got the last 12 years at an associate VP level, he’s talked to everyone, and he really knows the field, especially open access. He’s one of Canada’s leaders in open access. He used to work in NB.

Contact North in Ontario is also very knowledgeable. Also, BC Campus has really good on-the-ground knowledge.

Patrick Flanagan: I’m aware your time is going to run out… I want to ask you about this MOOC that you’re developing. I’m interested in knowing how that’s proceeding. It’s in French, isn’t it?

Stephen Downes: It’s in French; it’s sponsored by the Organization Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF); it’s going to be nine or ten weeks long. We’re looking at different aspects of Open Educational Resources, and we’re recruiting top-flight French language experts in the field from around the world. It’s going to run in the connectivist mode, and it’s going to be run using my own Grasshopper software, which we’re converting to multi-language delivery for this MOOC.

This is being developed by a team; we’re working with the Université de Moncton and actually right now they’re doing most of the work!

Patrick Flanagan: Is CCNB involved with that as well or…?

Stephen Downes: No, but it’s a good point to raise and I’m going to raise it with our MOOC team, to see if we can’t involve them someway.

Patrick Flanagan: Any other resource advice for the President of NBCC?

Stephen Downes: Well, they’ve got us (National Research Council); we’re here in New Brunswick, right? It’s not just me; there are other people there who are very knowledgeable and very expert, and we’ve got a number of projects on the go. We’re just launching a new program called Learning and Performance Support System, which has natural tie-ins to a college level environment; so if there’s stuff we can do to help, I know that we would want to do that.

Patrick Flanagan: Thank you for your time and insight, Stephen.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Strive Less. Share More.

I was asked by Jane Wilde:

Would you be willing to give us a brief response to any one of the following questions. I know each is potentially big, and we don't want to impose. So maybe you could answer with the first thing that comes to mind. 
  1. What is one skill/attitude/habit of mind that will benefit educators as they strive to be effective and relevant to today's learners (and why)? 
  2. What skill(s)/attitude(s)/habit(s) of mind can we (educators) help foster in our students so that they can become connected learners? 
  3. What strategies do you recommend to an educator who wants to become a connected learner? 
Actually the same answer applies to all three questions.

> 1. What is one skill/attitude/habit of mind that will benefit educators as they strive to be effective and relevant to today's learners (and why)?

In a word, sharing. Or generosity. Or giving without thought of reward.

I once read a piece of advice to seminar and plenary speakers which said, in effect, "love your audience." It's attributed to Luciano Pavarotti. "Some singers want the audience to love them. I love the audience."  The idea here is that the secret to successful performance is to give without reservation. I talk about the same concept here  in a summary of a talk by Michael Wesch. "...Diana Degarmo. She was talented, but inexperienced. She was horrible for the first three weeks, and then became a rock star and went almost to the end. They asked what happened. She said, her hairdresser said, "Love your audience and they'll love you back." Instead of focusing on self, she focused on the beauty of the audience and the whole event."

The idea of giving yourself over to the performance of whatever you are doing without reservation is actually very old. It can be found, for example, in the Buddhist concept of mindfulness.  As the Wikipedia article (accurately) summarizes, "Enlightenment (bodhi) is a state of being in which greed, hatred and delusion (Pali: moha) have been overcome, abandoned and are absent from the mind." And it is reflected in Taoist tradition. "Therefore the sages place themselves last but end up in front, are outside of themselves and yet survive. Is it not due to their selflessness? That is how they can achieve their own goals." Tao Te Ching, ch. 7  Even Leviticus (19:17): "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

We see the concept a lot in the literature and lore of performance in the idea of gioving yourself over completely to your performance, without worrying about making a fool of yourself.  Cynthia Heimel says, "When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap."  The best performances come when people think least about what they will earn for themselves, when they feel they have nothing to lose, when they commit themselves fully to what they are doing. The same applies in athletics, and in work. Devoting yourself completely to helping the other succeed is what builds success in yourself.

From the perspective of education, the same principle applies. And yet it's so hard to find in the literature. This page has '30 tips for storytelling'  and not one of them talks about actually giving yourself over to the idea of delivering the maximum good to the listeners. It's full of "tips and tricks" but these so often serve (and fail) as substitutes for authentic caring about the outcome. When telling a story to children (or to anyone) the practice of completely immersing yourself in the story, becoming the voice of the characters, and listening to yourself with the children's ears, is paramount. It not merely improves your performance, it makes you care about whether the story is of any value at all, and to navigate the story, and yourself, toward that end. It's not about 'the moral of the story' - that's usually the message you want to pass on. It's about how best to serve the needs of this child in this moment.

In my own work, I seek (often imperfectly) to accomplish the same objective. It is not merely a sideline, but a priority, to share the work I do. This comment, for example, will be posted on my blog, where it will be read by people who will think it useful, people who will think it stupid, and people who will wonder why I would bother posting it at all. I can't care about what they will think of me for posting it. What I care about is that it is a full and honest expression of the work that I am doing - in this case, offering an answer to a small group of graduate students studying new media and educational practice. Look around, and the examples of great web practice you see are also examples of this principle - Randy Pausch's last lecture, for example, as a gift to his children. "If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you."

Strive less. Share more. If you express this principle in your own life, it will be replicated many times in the lives of your students.