Tuesday, June 19, 12:30 pm Classroom 1010, Wasserstein Hall, Harvard Law School
The selection of free online higher learning experiences--as distinguished from merely raw learning materials, like MIT's Open Courseware --- has expanded greatly in the past six months. Udemy, Coursera, the Minerva Project, Udacity, and edx all offer courses created by faculty at top universities in the Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) format, each with some combination of video lectures, exercises, a social component (chat rooms, wikis, Facebook groups) and even a form of certification for your learning. And many of them are offering these courses for free. Much of the conversation around this new wave of education startups has focused on what they mean for the incumbent institutions, from for-profit online universities to the traditional Ivy League. But what about what they mean for learners? Who is currently succeeding in open learning contexts? What are the missing pieces of the ecosystem--from discovery, to peer support, to mentoring, to assessment--that will allow the most severely underserved learners to succeed in this new learning environment?
Anya Kamenetz is a senior writer at Fast Company Magazine. She's the author of two books and two ebooks about the future of education. Generation Debt (Riverhead, 2006), dealt with student loans, generational economics and politics, and DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, (Chelsea Green, 2010) investigated the roots of the cost, access, and quality crises in higher education as well as innovations to address these crises. Her 2011 ebooks were The Edupunks' Guide, funded by the Gates Foundation, and Learning, Freedom and the Web, produced in collaboration with the Mozilla community. She was named a 2010 Game Changer in Education by the Huffington Post, received two National Awards for Education Reporting from the Education Writers Association in 2009 and 2010, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing by the Village Voice in 2005. She travels and speaks across the country, Twitters @anya1anya, and occasionally gives commentary on NPR, CNN and other news networks. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.