“…we can all participate in, and help build new models of online learning.”

A key inspiration behind the format and structure of #crit101 is the cMOOC model of massive open online courses, such as DS106 and #ETMOOC.

Theo Keuchel recently participated in the second edition of MOOCMOOC, a course in which I participated last August. The course explores what MOOCs are and what they might mean for education. Like myself, Theo is asking questions about whether this model of online course can work for school-age students. Obviously I believe that it can or #crit101 would not exist. Reading Theo’s post is like looking at my own checklist, I asked many of the same questions when putting the course together. In my view it comes down to two specific considerations above all others:

  • Do you believe that courses of this type are a valid form of learning?
  • Do you trust young people to participate in such a course?

If you can answer yes to the above then everything else is a matter of planning, pedagogy and technical practicality. However, the questions above strike at the heart of what I feel MOOCs are all about: Freeing learning from the confines of the classroom; bringing it to where the learners are – the connected web. Such an approach is too scary for some, too fraught with dangers. But this is the future… learning should belong to the learners. If the school curriculum can’t offer all that they need or want to learn then they should be free to go elsewhere and get it.

#crit101 is in its infancy, but it is my hope that the course demonstrates what Theo states at the end of his post:

we can all participate in, and help build new models of online learning.”