Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Navigating Information Overload - MOOCs

Often I learn to understand what I've been doing by seeing how others present similar ideas. Over the past few years I've followed many people who share ideas in a variety of blogs, web sites, videos, social media sites, etc. I've pointed to many on my own blog and web site and even collect some of the links in my web library.

Over the past year I've been learning about Massive open Online Courses (MOOCS). Rather than trying to give you a description of my own, I encourage you to view this video then visit this CHANGE.MOOC.CA site.

Without knowing it, I've been creating a platform of information and ideas that is waiting for a team of facilitators to turn it into a MOOC. This video describes many of the strategies of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC and Tutor/Mentor Connection. It shows a way to connect people from different places and different networks in on-going learning that they can use to understand poverty and its impact on youth, families and communities, and to learn strategies working in some places that could be applied in other places.

I've used this graphic often to illustrate the "village" of people who need to be involved in this on-going learning process and in strategies that help kids in poverty areas have more of the support systems needed to move through school and into adult responsibilities.

In several past blog articles I've written about "silos" where groups focus on their own issues, with their own ideas, and their own limited membership. Chicago and other big cities are full of silos. Chicago has more than 200 different youth serving organizations offering various forms of volunteer-based tutoring and/or mentoring in non-school hours.

Each one is forced to be a "silo" because of how they compete for dollars.

Yet, each also has common needs. Connecting together in a MOOC type of process, and engaging volunteers, alumni, business people, philanthropists, etc. might build shared commitment and new strategies for generating and distributing these resources, leading to constantly improving programs in all parts of an urban area.

Until we find ways to connect youth, volunteers, leaders, donors and policy makers from each of these different organizations and from business, religion, philanthropy, higher education,government, media, etc. we'll never have consistent strategies reaching young people in all poverty neighborhoods with best-in-world strategies learned from this world of ideas that can be found through the Internet.

I point to more than 2000 different web sites from my own sites...and these point to other web sites with even greater levels of information. It's the information overload that David Comer talks about in this video about MOOCs.

While I record more than 8000 visitors and 150,000 page views on my own web sites this is just a fraction of the people who need to be involved in this on-going learning. While I have the vision, I don't yet have the ability to organize and lead a MOOC that connects big-city stakeholders in on-going learning that draws from all of this information in the ways the video above describes.

Yet, if you look at the structure of the courses on CHANGE.MOOC, perhaps the blog I've written since 2005 could be considered a MOOC! It's open to anyone in the world. In needs more facilitators.

New organizations keep sprouting up in Chicago with new sponsors and new donors putting up hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are reinventing the wheel and the cost of accumulating all of this information and building a network of people to share it will be overwhelming.

I keep looking for sponsors and partners who will build an sustain a MOOC focused on the information already aggregating and the process I describe in this 4-part strategy.


Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Here's another blog about MOOCs http://travelinedman.blogspot.com/2012/05/theres-whole-lot-of-mooc-going-on.html

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

This article points to a few additional articles about MOOCS, including some critical. http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=420482

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Defining success from a MOOC. This page has video by Dave Comer of the five steps that will help you succeed in a MOOC. http://change.mooc.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?action=viewer

BottomDollarServices.com said...

Great post...

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Here's a November 2012 update on MOOCs from Vance Stevens. http://advanceducation.blogspot.com/2012/11/when-is-mooc-not-mooc-what-mooc-means.html

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Nov. 30, 2012. I encourage you to read this article by Charles Cameron describing a game that connects people and complex ideas. In his example the game's knowledge base is a huge museum. In my application it would be all of the information available to help tutor/mentor programs reach youth in high poverty, and stay connected for many years so that the youth live future lives out of poverty. http://zenpundit.com/?p=17756