Who’s afraid of a MOOC?: on being education-y and course-ish

Here's a very informative post by Greg Downey @GregDowney1 on the Neuroanthropology PLOS Blog. Did you know about all the MOOC developments in Australia? Such as the Open Universities Australia? Well I didn't, but am going to follow their work closely. Greg is one of the prime movers. A sample:

(…) My project was chosen to be the first cab off the rank at Macquarie after I pointed out at a panel discussion last semester during ‘Learning and Teaching Week’ that the technology made opening classrooms electronically inevitable. At the time, I argued that if the University didn’t promote open classroom efforts, the academic staff were going to start opening up our classrooms on our own. Either do it with us, or stand by as it happens without you. Anthropology (as well as a lot of other disciplines) wants to be free, or at the very least we are inexorably leaking onto the internet.

The leaking lecture hall

Web 2.0 opportunities are simply making it too easy and cheap to put teaching materials online. Our universities are often forcing us to tape lectures, generate electronic syllabi and provide access to our students already, so many of us are asking ourselves, why, after we put so much energy into lectures, slides, student readings, and the like for our classes, should we not share these much more widely. We have watched as lecture-like presentations – most notably, TED conference videos, but also iTunes U, Slideshare, and the like – have grown as a genre through podcasting and other avenues. There are copyright issues, and many of us are nervous about what will happen when as these materials become public, but enough of us are ready to dive into the deep end that the process is only likely to accelerate.

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