Tuesday, October 20, 2015

En México educación gratuita de alto nivel a través de MOOCs. ¿Qué es eso?

Por Ramón Talavera-Franco
Cualquier adulto quien vive y trabaja en la ciudad de México sabe lo difícil que es tener acceso a educación de calidad. No porque no exista, sino porque no hay tiempo o dinero para acceder a ella. Los bajos salarios, las jornadas laborales de más de 8 horas, las distancias para ir de la casa al trabajo y viceversa, y el tráfico, son algunos factores que impiden a un adulto poder continuar sus estudios de bachillerato, universidad o posgrado.

La educación en línea se ha convertido en una opción.
Actualmente cualquier adulto puede estudiar bachillerato o universidad a través de programas educativos tanto

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Educating 1 billion students in 10 years: Open edX Conference 2015

Ramón Talavera-Franco
Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX was clear about the goal of the organization: Educating 1 billion students in the next 10 years. By 2015, Open edX—a non-profit organization established in Boston, MA—has reached 5 million students from more than 196 countries. The organization partners with 90 educational institutions in 40 countries, and offers 700+ courses online. According to these numbers, reaching the 1 billion students goal

Monday, October 12, 2015

Open edX Conference 2015: Cultivating creativity through projects, peers, passion, play

By Ramón Talavera-Franco
Dr. Mitch Resnick, director of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the Media Laboratory at MIT was the 2015 Open edX Conference keynote speaker. During his conference, Dr. Resnick argued that schools do not teach children to think creatively to be able to face XXI century demands such as adaptability to new situations, confronting uncertainty, and becoming creative thinkers. In order to cultivate creativity in the learning process, Dr. Resnick designed a 4p's framework that explores how a learner learns from projects, peers, passion, and play.

Monday, June 29, 2015

How MOOCs help Obama's TechHire Initiative

By Ramón Talavera-Franco

I would like to share a short video that I produced about Obama's TechHire Initiative. The video is a call to action to the Latino Limited Language English Proficient (LEP) community to take advantage of this Initiative. The TechHire initiative is designed to recruit and place applicants by creating more fast track tech training opportunities. I think that TechHire Initiative might empower the Latino LEP community by helping them get the skills required to be competitive in a global economy.

The video is self-explanatory. Please share it with all Latino organizations that might benefit from this Initiative.

Monday, June 15, 2015

How MOOCs led me to Harvard

Ramón Talavera Franco

In a way, MOOCs have led me to Harvard. A few days ago, I presented the first draft of a game designed for learning Spanish during the 2015 Heritage Language Research Institute sponsored by National Heritage Language Resource Center (NHLRC) and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), at Harvard University. This Institute “brings together researchers from language sciences and education to focus on fostering new research in heritage language and to promote the heritage language agenda in academia and society at large” (NHLRC, n.d.).

I’m interested in Spanish heritage learners' linguistic variations, syntax, socio-cultural language norms, and pedagogy theories that explore best teaching practices for this particular linguistic group. Therefore, I often attend conferences and symposiums regarding this topic. Harvard hosted the 2015 Heritage Language Research Institute and I decided to go and dive into new learning.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Meetups + MOOCs: Promoting Active Learning and Communities of Practice

Ramón Talavera Franco
edX Boston Community meetups promote active learning and communities of practice since 2014. edX is a Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provider founded as a non-profit organization by MIT and Harvard. MOOCs are online university-level courses distributed free of charge through edX platform. Due to MOOCs asynchronous attribute students’ participation is limited to online discussion forums. However, the need to connect students face-to-face encouraged edX to use meetup.com to create local discussion groups where students share experiences and learn from each other.

Since MOOC users interests vary, edX administrators are experimenting with different meetup formats that cover those interests. The first format consists in MOOC study groups. Attendants are invited to participate in study groups integrated according to a MOOC subject-matter (computer science, nutrition, biology, entrepreneurship, etc.). Participants join their corresponding MOOC study group and start a conversation by introducing themselves or by exchanging concerns about the MOOC taken. One benefit of these study groups is the possibility to engage in active learning by discussing the topic and learning from the experience of others.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Interview with MoocLab.club's CEO Carolyn McIntyre

Ramón Talavera Franco
MoocLab.club is a Forum and Community Website for Consumers and Providers of MOOCs and Online Learning to meet, share, debate and learn. The site aims to provide its users with a centralised space to interact with peers around a common theme: E-learning. Through the forums, you can ask for or give advice, debate on topical issues, find or add relevant information and keep up to date with news and insights relating to MOOCs and Online Learning.

Watch this three minutes picks from the interview
1. How (did you/somebody else) come up with the idea to create MoocLab?
My brother is Charles McIntyre, CEO & Co-Founder of IBIS Capital, a company that provides a range of asset management and investment banking services dedicated to the media sector, & Co-Founder of EdTech Europe, Europe's Leading EdTech Conference Platform which hosts an annual EdTech summit. With his deepening involvement in the EdTech field, Charles approached me to ask if I’d be interested in developing a website focussed on e-Learning.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

MOOCs certifications are going cuckoo?

By Ramón Talavera Franco
When MOOCs started the only certification users received was a certificate of participation. Probably the low completion rate of the thousand of students registered in a MOOC encouraged MOOC providers to issue a more valued credential to motivate people to finish the courses. Hence, they started to issue certificates of completion, and shortly after, MOOC providers decided to create stronger certifications focused on the needs of the job market. Some examples are:

1) Nanodegrees from Udacity. In one of my previous blogs, I explained:

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sri Lanka and MOOCs…will they get along?

Ramón Talavera Franco

Students in Sri Lanka don’t take MOOCs seriously due to a lack of an effective certification system. Sri Lanka has a certificate-oriented education system rather than knowledge-oriented. Master’s degrees and PhD’s are strongly valued. Therefore students look for certifications in whatever academic path they chose.

This is part of my conversation with Dilrukshi Gamage, a Ph.D. in eLearning and HCI student, at the University of Moratuwa, who I met during the MOOC Design and Development of Educational Technology provided by the edX platform. Our common interest in eLearning and the fact that we both are pursuing a doctoral degree helped keep our communication alive after the course was ended, and now we are frequently in contact via different social media software.

Monday, January 5, 2015

2014... the year I juggled MOOCs

By Ramón Talavera Franco
I had an intense relationship with MOOCs in 2014. As all intense “relationships”, I loved them, hated them, invested a lot of time on them, or abandon them. MOOCs surprised me with new knowledge (i.e. gamification), or satisfied my pedagogical learning needs (i.e. EdTech and blended learning). I defended MOOCs against those who desperately wanted them to fail based on their high dropout rate, but also, I raised my voice against those MOOCs that experimented with students and neglected their needs.

Throughout 2014, I witnessed the evolution of MOOCs and I confirmed my thesis that MOOCs are just the beginning of an important revolution in e-learning. According to Shah D. (2014) 400+ universities offered over 2400+ MOOCs in 2014. At the beginning, all MOOCs were Massive and Open. At the end of the year, some evolved to be less massive, and less open.