Sunday, February 09, 2014

MOOCs The Platform: Education, Vocational Training, and More

MOOCs (massive online open courses) reinvented education in the mode of global accessibility, even faster than blogs and ebooks reshaped the publishing industry. Now in place as a concept and an infrastructure, ‘MOOCs as a platform’ can be used for other purposes, most proximately vocation and training. Already much of MOOC content is an educational-vocational hybrid of learning new things like knowledge and skills for the digital economy in the form of bootcamps and code academies for software programming, web services, mobile applications, and big data science.

MOOCs are a resilience tool for being able to quickly retrain large numbers of individuals that may be displaced in economic shifts such as the increasing automation of the economy (i.e.; self-driving vehicles, machine intelligence supplanting knowledge-worker jobs). More generally MOOCS as a concept category are concerned with ‘in-habbing’ - habilitating anyone into any situation - and ultimately the next-generation of the Internet that facilitates massive online collaboration and social connectivity.

A fun science fiction idea could be artificial intelligence waking up grâce à contemporary digital environments like MOOCs, YouTube (image recognition), and high-frequency trading networks. As a MOOC instructor, the new Turing Test would be determining if your online student is a machine or a person; that is to the degree this question still matters.

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