Crying Woolf

A group of academics hailing from top universities have decided to create the world's first ever blockchain university called the Woolf University. They have released a rather illuminating whitepaper on the concept. Essentially, the University will disintermediate the traditional university structure and leverage 'trust' through an alternate federated structure powered by a non-profit trust and... Continue Reading →

Educracy

Recently at a conference, someone asked me about the future of publishing. Remarking that it was a interesting question the answer to which I really did not know, which evoked much mirth, I ventured further to assert that the publishing and edTech are both a product and a function of the underlying system of education... Continue Reading →

Reclaiming SWAYAM

Today’s news article on the SWAYAM MOOCs and open-ness by Anil Sasi of the Indian Express raises some very important questions about the future of MOOCs in this country. The facts of the matter are as follows. A proprietary rather than open source approach has been adopted because open source seems not be open after... Continue Reading →

The corruption of the SWAYAM RFP

It seems the SWAYAM RFP dated 21st November, 2015 is actually inspired from previous RFPs made for other contexts. You have to only compare the SWAYAM RFP with two earlier RFPs: National Career Services Portal RFP dated  13th August 2014 A JNU RFP on eLearning Development dated 5th February 2015   To give a sense... Continue Reading →

2015-Slow year for edTech

This past year has been very eventful. Here are some of my impressions of 2015. xMOOCs have strengthened this year. The major players have received lots of new funding, added 1800 new courses, 100 new credentials, doubled enrollments to 35 mn students and co-opted many new partners from academia (over 550 universities in all) and... Continue Reading →

Whither Indian MOOCs?

Today, India is at an important crossroad when it comes to MOOCs. Much has been written and spoken about the potential of MOOCs in this country. Unfortunately, most of the conversation has been around platforms. It has also centered around xMOOCs or XBTs as I term them, ignoring the rather rich discourse around the cMOOCs.... Continue Reading →

MOOCs have arrived…what next?

First published in The Souvenir, FICCI Higher Education Summit 2014 Viplav Baxi makes the case that MOOCs have arrived in India. Now is the time to reflect on what pitfalls we should avoid and how we can fully leverage them in the Indian context. The past few years have seen the rapid growth of Massive... Continue Reading →

xMOOCs and cMOOCs – do we even care?

First published by EDU Tech on 24th July, 2014 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are an exciting new development in online education. In this article, Viplav Baxi explores the origins of MOOCs, their two main (‘c’ and ‘x’) variants and why it is critical to appreciate the distinction. October 2008. Three Canadians, George Siemens, Stephen... Continue Reading →

India MOOCs and eLibrary

Massive Open Online Courses  (MOOCs) and OERs have captured the imagination of our polity. The new Government's election manifesto clearly specifies MOOCs, although not under school or higher education, but under Vocational Training as a means for "working class people and housewives to further their knowledge and qualifications". Further, there is a firm push, although... Continue Reading →

Blended Learning in India

There are many positives happening in EdTech in India. A government led mission called the National Mission on Education using ICT (NMEICT) has created massive amounts of content for engineering, arts and humanities, social sciences and natural science. It has also delivered the under 50 USD tablet, Aakash and a slew of innovations including Virtual... Continue Reading →

The Learning Revolution is Here

I didn't know it at that time, having been born just a few months later, that the revolutionary Open University, UK was born in January, 1971 with 25000 students. Of course, my parents didn't know that either when they named me Viplav (my Sanskrit origin name literally means "revolution"). It's just one of those weird... Continue Reading →

Udacity throws out the MOOC?

As Thrun was being praised by Friedman, and pretty much everyone else, for having attracted a stunning number of students--1.6 million to date--he was obsessing over a data point that was rarely mentioned in the breathless accounts about the power of new forms of free online education: the shockingly low number of students who actually... Continue Reading →

MOOCs are ecologies not episodes

There are two ways one could think of the life-cycle of a MOOC. MOOCs could be thought of as one-time and episodic. They could also be thought of as ecologies, sites or environments for continual learning (for example, a series of MOOCs on the same topics, such as CCK), not use-once-and-throw episodes of learning. I... Continue Reading →

MOOCs are not books

A startling post by Bernard Fryshman - Books Are MOOCs, Too, leaves me with conflicting thoughts. If he is talking about xMOOCs, I could perhaps agree to a level. If he is talking about cMOOCs, I couldn't disagree more! Bernard makes the points that books are mobile, ubiquitous, accessible, excellent supplementary material for your degree... Continue Reading →

The subversion by MOOCs

Stephen Downes puts it succinctly when he says: MOOCs were not designed to serve the missions of the elite colleges and universities. They were designed to undermine them, and make those missions obsolete. Yes there has been a great rebranding and co-option of the concept of the MOOC over the last couple of years. The... Continue Reading →

MOOCs as instruments of democratic politics

Democracy requires intellectually armed political activism to succeed. MOOCs (cMOOCs) provide an unprecedented occasion to demonstrate the power of connective learning for democracy, just as much as they demonstrate the democracy of connective learning. The four letters that make up the MOOC abbreviation are as apt as a stage for political protest as for our... Continue Reading →

Business and MOOCs

Jay Cross anchored a fascinating conversation on Google Hangouts recently. Thinkers and practitioners on both sides of the MOOC divide (x-MOOC and c-MOOC) such as George Siemens, Stephen Downes, Dave Cormier, Lal Jones-Bey, Jerry Michalski and Terri Griffiths came together. The purpose was to discuss how MOOCs could possibly be used by businesses. Dave (at around... Continue Reading →

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