Week 2 #edcmooc | Will we be buried in a sparkling mound of glass shards?

Word Cloud created at Tagul.com

In Week 2 we are thinking about the future of our technology-driven world.  As I started thinking about metaphors, I realized that I had used one in my post for Week 1 #edcmooc.  In 1995, a tiny cohort of adventurers at a small college saw technology (and the Internet in particular) as a train that was gaining speed as it moved out of the station.  We were afraid that if we did not run and jump aboard, we would never have the chance again as it would probably be impossible to catch up.  At that time we did not stop to think of where the train was heading, and we were surrounded with people telling us that we were just wasting time, that the Internet was just a flash in the pan, that in five years no one would even remember what it was.

Now that I AM looking to the future and watching the movies for this week, am  struck by how much the future DOES look like glass.   I am wondering if this ever-accelerating train we are all traveling on is turning into glass as we ride.  Will it be able to accelerate forever as it might in those theoretical “friction-free systems” problems for physics class, or will it meet an obstacle that will cause a spectacular crash?

In watching the movie, Charlie 13, I was reminded that I am a Facebook deserter, and after jumping over the fence, I have found that there ARE a few of us out here — believe it or not!

In reading the articles, I found I was most interested in the two having to do with how the media is presenting MOOCs.  The Washington Post article is one that I had read with interest last fall because, at that time, I was a student in one of the courses from Johns Hopkins and also was involved in helping to plan for one of the UVa courses that will start in March.  The article certainly presents MOOCs in a very positive light.  The article from the MIT Technology Review is much more balanced.  It is interesting to note that the small percentage of students who actually complete these MOOCs tend to have a technology background of some sort.  No surprise as so many of the courses deal with computer science, technology, statistics, etc.  It will be very interesting to see how the liberal arts will fare in this new venture!