This week we discussed Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and how thery fit in to the education system in general. Most of the discussion was in favour of MOOC as they give students access to reputable colleges without having to be on campus. they can be done in the student free time giving greater flexibility for work and family life. However there was confusion about the assessment process on a MOOC, generally the college provide the course for free but charge for an assessment. Discussion then turned to the how employers would value the qualification, i.e. it could be a degree from Harvard but will they discount it if they realise it was done online? They may opt for the traditional degree that requires fours year on campus learning in lectures. This discussion reminded me of Baker et al’s (2013) article An Avalanche is Coming, these issues and more were discussed in that.
We also discussed the Gartner top 10 technology predictions for 2014, specifically crowd sourcing and the internet of things. On crowd sourcing we discussed how social media lets anyone put up an idea asking for comments, almost instantaneously they will receive a large number of replies. On the internet of things we discussed how in the future ordinary home appliances will be able to think and act for themselves using the internet. The example used was a fridge would know when milk is running short, it could then log onto your shopping account, say Tesco, and add it to the shopping list. The shopping can be scheduled to be delivery at certain time every week and the milk will arrive. This peaked my attention as I chose Virtual Assistant for my assignment and the literature concurs that technology of the future will need to think and act for itself, as in the above example, to be able to replace the human assistant.
We spent the final part of the class in the computer lab discussing Gamification and its value. In an education situation students are driven to perfection for the final examination which is a pass/fail, however the use of Gamification states they students should be encouraged to take small risks and be allowed to fail, then receiving feedback and support can rectify the mistake. this is an area that I would need to investigate further but can see potential. We then looked at different websites that employ games to help learning. I did not think this part was beneficial as everyone was in front of separate PCs wearing headphone with no interaction. I think if one game can be installed on the network and everyone plays a different part of the team on their PC there would be interaction.
It reminded me of years ago when a group of us went to one of those new fangled internet cafes to play Quake. We able to log onto individual PC and be part of the team over the network to basically shoot anything that was not in our team. Obviously this kind of shooting game may not be appropriate in college, however if FloodSim could be used for a team exercise with different team members responsible for different aspect who could communicate using the microphone and head set it would be more interesting.
Shankar, P. R. (2013). An Avalanche is Coming. Australasian Medical Journal, 6(4), 206-206.
FloodSim (2014), www.foodsim.com, acessed multiple time from 11 Feb 2014