Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Loving and hating a MOOC. MITx 11.132x Design and Development of Educational Technology

By Ramón Talavera Franco

To read week 1 click here To read week 2 click here To read week 3 click here To read week 4 click here

Registering for a MOOC while working full time and being a part time Ed.D. student is challenging. Complying with its pedagogical components (videos, readings, assignments), and participating in its forums, groups, hangouts, etc., is a major task, especially, when the course is designed using the same concept of a course taught at a university level. The huge difference between them both is that a course taken at a university offers credits towards a degree while MOOCs do not offer those credits. Hence, if MOOCs pedagogical and assessment demands are similar to college courses, shouldn’t students receive recognition according to those demands?

Friday, November 21, 2014

First open edX conference… a blast!

By Ramón Talavera Franco

The first open edX conference brought together over 200 education specialist from all over the world to share ideas about the use of the edX open source platform. For two days, we examined possible solutions to issues addressed to the implementation of edX platform as well as pedagogical and best practice approaches—such as the importance of transforming the MOOC certification paradigm. Breakout sessions and keynote speakers were impactful. However, the best part of the conference was the opportunity to get to know the people who are “behind the scenes”. These are the people who came from different places of the world to share creativity, knowledge, problem-solving skills, and enthusiasm in order to make a better MOOC world.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Communities of Practice. Week 4 of MITx 11.132x Design and Development of Educational Technology MOOC

Ramón Talavera-Franco

To read week 1 post click here      To read week 2 post click here      To read week 3 post click here      To read weeks 5 & 6 click here

During the fourth week of this course, over 60 students met in an unhangout to share notes about our final project in particular, and about the course in general. Unhangout is an open source platform for running large scales conferences online. We all met in a “lobby” where we had the opportunity to exchange “hello” notes or ask questions about the unhangout. Clearly, unhangouts were a new tool for the most of us to use, so we didn’t know what to expect from it. Professor Kofler welcomed us via a stream life video and explained the mechanics of the unhangout. Then, we met in one of the 10 (or more?) breakout sessions for up to six people per room, and we received three questions to discuss among us. Answering the questions was not mandatory, but they certainly helped to break the ice and find a starting point for a conversation.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Active learning. Week 3 of MITx 11.132x Design and Development of Educational Technology MOOC

By Ramón Talavera Franco
To read week 1 click here      To read week 2 click here      To read week 4 click here      To read weeks 5 and 6 click here

So far we have explored some educational terminology along the course: constructivism, constructionism, deep learning, and active learning, and our assignments, course activities and intervention in the forums are designed to explore such terminology. To do so, this week we’ve had the opportunity to learn from diverse educational software such as Geniverse, StarLogo Nova, and other simulation platforms that either are included in the course by professor Klopfer or are being added by our peers in the course wikki organized by topics. So far, students have submitted over 30 simulation platforms links that open vast opportunities to practice the main topic of the week: active learning.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Does grade matter? Second week of MITx: 11.132x Design and Development of Educational Technology MOOC

Ramón Talavera-Franco

To read week 1 click here      To read week 3 click here      To read week 4 click here      To read week 5 and 6 click here

This week I’ve been kind of disappointed after submitting my assignment to11.132x Design and Development of Educational Technology MOOC because I haven’t received any comment on it. Are assignments important in MOOCs or not?

All of us who have taken MOOCs know the different facts that are involved in submitting an assignment: time invested, research, complying with due dates, and even managing stress. What happens when our assignments are not peer reviewed, or graded?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Everything old is new again… First week of 11.132x Design and Development of Educational Technology MOOC.

Ramón Talavera Franco
To read week 2 click here.      To read week 3 click here      To read week 4 click here      To read week 5 & 6 click here

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share my experience as a student registered in11.132x Design and Development of Educational Technology MOOC. Designed and taught by Professor Eric Klopfer from MIT, this MOOC discusses the relationship between educational theory and technology. The reason that I’m taking this course is due to my interest in Ed Tech, and my ongoing analysis on MOOCs instructional design and pedagogical approaches. Also, because I’m a doctor of education student at Northeastern University and my doctoral program does not offer a course related to this subject. Hence, this MOOC is an excellent opportunity to explore this topic.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

¿Un MOOC para aprender a trapear?

Ramón Talavera Franco
Los MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses por sus siglas en inglés) son cursos en línea diseñados y producidos por las mejores universidades del mundo. Son la nueva revolución educativa por su concepto democratizador de la educación (debatible aún) ya que cualquier persona, no importando su lugar de residencia o su nivel socioeconómico, puede tomar cursos en línea de Harvard, MIT o la Universidad de Berkley en California, que estarían fuera de su alcance de no ser distribuidos en forma de MOOCs.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The learning MOOC perspective

By Ramón Talavera Franco
MIT and Stanford sponsored the “Learning with MOOCs: a practitioner’s workshop” on August 12-13, 2014 in Cambridge, MA. It was not clear for me who could attend to the workshops,  but I think that the event was “for invitation only”. Thankfully, MIT and Stanford transmitted some of the conferences live through webcast. Hence, I could have access to the keynote speaker conference.

It is interesting how the organizers divided the workshops. They used the modality of “tracks” (a 15 minute talk followed by 45 minutes facilitated discussion) to explore MOOC’s teaching, design, research, and technology. The workshop program was very interesting. Check the program here for more information.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Nanodegree to level up your career!

By Ramón Talavera-Franco

Nanodegree is a new job-focused credential that Udacity––in partnership with AT&T––will offer starting fall 2014. The first nanodegrees are focused on gaining entry-level software skills. The courses will be completed in 6-12 months and it is expected that students invest 10 hours per week. The cost is $200.00 US per month; however, AT&T is offering scholarships to non-profit organizations such as Genesys Works and Year up. In addition, AT&T will offer 100 paid internships to top students who complete a nanodegree. So… do you want to level up your career?

Sebastian Thurn, a research professor at Stanford University, and Udacity co-founder & CEO, explained that nanodegrees are the solution for those who

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Facial Biometrics: A Solution or a Problem for MOOCs Assessments?

By Ramón Talavera-Franco
Photo author Mounirzok
I just registered in the Performance and Assessment in the Virtual Classroom Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). This is one of the four courses offered in the Virtual Teaching Program designed by the University of California, Irvine/ Extension through Coursera. This is the sixth MOOC that I have taken so far. It differs from others in two aspects: 1) the course requires that participants who pursue a Specialization Certificate register through a facial biometric system, 2) the cost of the course is 39 dollars. Since both aspects are controversial, I’m going to concentrate only in the facial biometrics feature, leaving the cost issue for a future post.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

K-12 and the joy of learning

By Ramón Talavera-Franco
Photo by Dell
How can we help K-12 students enjoy learning? I think that if teachers and school decision-makers are interested in answering this question, it is necessary to listen first the students' voice. The millennial generation registered in K-12 education has been demanding the reinvention of school for quite some time. Are we listening to their voice?

Let's analyze some of the characteristics of the millennial generation and compare it with the instructional methodology, design, and pedagogy that we are offering in schools.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Serendipity, MOOCs and Gamification

By Ramón Talavera-Franco
Photo by Artsproject
In a way, a baby girl sited in front of me represented both characters of the short film Sight that I was watching for my gamification MOOC assignment while having a cup of coffee in a restaurant. Sight, the short sci-fi film by May-raz and Daniel Lazo depicts a futuristic world where people have retinal implants that allow them to connect to virtual realities, play games, obtain digital information about other people’s lives, send chat messages, pay bills, and receive points for every success activity. Why am I comparing this baby girl with the characters of the film? Because she belongs to the generation who started using technology at a very early age, and who certainly will contribute to change the world similarly to Sight. The way May-raz and Daniel Lazo predicted the future in their short film, could be compared to how George Orwell predicted our present in 1984.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

5 MOOCs e-Pedagogy models, and 7c’s Learning Design framework

By Ramón Talavera-Franco

I would like to share with you two main lessons learned from The pedagogy of MOOCs webinar presented by Terese Bird and Gráinne Conole, from the University of Leicester, during the Open Education Week 2014:
                  1. Differences between Open Educational Resources (OER) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
                  2.  MOOC’s pedagogical perspective.
After listening to the webinar and conducting some research, my understanding of OER and MOOCs is:

Saturday, March 8, 2014

What is MOOCstream?

Ramón Talavera Franco

English composition1: Achieving Expertise
In 2013, I submitted my application to study the Ed. D. program at Northeastern University. As a Spanish-language speaker who obtained my graduate and undergraduate degrees in my native language, I was concerned about not meeting the academic English writing requirements of a doctoral program. My prior academic writing consisted of two English composition courses taken six years ago. Therefore, I wanted to take an additional writing course before embarking in this new academic adventure.

While browsing the Internet, I found a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that caught my attention: English Composition I: Achieving Expertise
 (ECIAE). I didn’t know what a MOOC was or what to expect from it, but what struck me was that this course was provided by Duke University with no fees. How could a prestigious university such as Duke offer a free-of-charge course? Well, investigate was hooked. I signed up.