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Teaching Like It's 1992: MOOC Diary for Week #3 History/Future of Higher Education

Teaching Like It's 1992:  MOOC Diary for Week #3 History/Future of Higher Education

This week we'll be filming Week 3 of the MOOC " The History and Future of (Mosthly Higher) Educatiion"  that will begin starting in January 2014.  The argument for Week 3 goes like this:


Whereas everyday, everywhere learning has become a hallmark of our social life and work life in the post-Internet era, education--K through 22--remains largely wedded to the disciplinary silos, formal knowledge taxonomies, summative assessment measures, and formal credentialing apparatus designed for the research university of the late Industrial Age.     The Internet went public on April 22, 1993.   We're still teaching like its 1992.

Take Wikipedia as an example of knowledge production in a new era of human interactive communication.  In 2001, when the beta version of Wikipedia was launched, no one would have guessed that an open, voluntary, non-expert, peer-edited compendium produced and available for free and that had no rules for categorizing knowledge nor value system for what counted as valid or worthwhile knowledge would in a little over a decade become the largest encyclopedia the world has ever known, with 30 million articles in 286 languages, and would become the seventh most popular site on the World Wide Web.   In 2001, we did not have a theory of knowledge-production, economics, education, or human nature that would comprehend such a result.  

But we do now.  Wikipedia exists.  We may not have the theories worked out for its existence but the fact that we are able to voluntarily work with anonymous others to make knowledge on any and every subject, and to make it as sound as we can even without credentialized experts, should be making us rethink the tested, production-model, disciplinary silos, summatively tested model of learning that is the basis of modern education.

Faced with such a monumental voluntary accomplishment, formal education has a lesson to learn. But we have not yet learned it:   That has to change.


The third week of "The History and Future of Higher Education" will ask this question, both rhetorical and pointed:  Why have we so quickly adapted to a new mode of collaborative, cross-disciplinary, instrumental, just-in-time, non-expert knowledge-making everywhere except in school?  




Week 1 History and Future of Higher Education:


Week 2:


HASTAC's Project on the History and Future of Higher Education, Beginning January 2014---colocated courses, public workshops, online webinars, and many other international events hosted at some 30 universities around the world:


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