Tag Archive: College

May the MOOC Be With You

I know, I know.  Really bad play on words, but I grew up in the Star Wars/Star Trek era and still love Sci-Fi.  I don’t try to deny it and my wife just puts up with it!

So MOOC’s have been around for awhile now.  I’m just getting into the game at this point and I suspect many of you are doing the same or at least considering it.  I’ve just started my first MOOC titled, Coaching Digital Learning.  From the course description,

The Coaching Digital Learning MOOC-Ed is brought to you by the Digital Learning Collaborative a program of the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University’s College of Education. The content was developed by a team of passionate digital learning innovators, coaches, and geeks: Brittany Miller, Lisa Hervey, and Jaclyn B. Stevens, with many others from school districts and other organizations throughout the country contributing to planning and facilitating the course. See CDL Team for more information.

Finding and signing up for a MOOC is easy.  The hard part will be following through on the class.  I’ve completed unit 1.  The MOOC is free, but I can still get CEU’s for completing the course.  In my opinion, the free part is what keeps many people from completing a MOOC.  According to a report in Inside Higher Ed, completion rates for MOOCs range from a low of 3.5% to as high as 40%.  In all, more people fail to complete them than those that finish.  Will I finish mine?  Time will tell.  I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, you might want to try a MOOC yourself.  Here are some resources to get you started in your search.

https://www.mooc-list.com/tags/education

https://www.class-central.com/subject/education

http://www.mooc-ed.org/

https://www.edx.org/

Happy Searching!

Do All Roads Lead to College?

A high school education is no longer sufficient to obtaining a good paying job in the United States.  Good paying middle class jobs are disappearing quickly for those with only a high school diploma.  Does that mean that everyone should go to and earn a Bachelor’s degree?  The answer is complicated and not completely clear and depends on whom you talk to.

The Harvard School of Eduction published a report in 2012 titled the Pathways to Prosperity.  The report highlighted the struggle that young people in the United States were having in obtaining meaningful work in their chosen field or career.  The goal of going to college and receiving the cherished 4yr degree may be misplaced for some students and young people who have been led to believe that this s the only credible career path to achieve perceived success of financial wealth.

As I sit on a college university today during finals week attending my own professional conference, I am humbled by the number of students diligently studying, relaxing before the next test or looking relieved that it is all over for this semester.  I wonder how many of these same students will graduate within 6 years of starting and how many may drop out for financial or other reasons.  Currently, the completions rate for college students is at about 59%  What happens to the rest?

My guess is that many end up in low paying, service jobs unable to fulfill their chosen career.  Maybe there’s a better way.  Would the 41% that didn’t finish college have been better off with advice to follow a 2 yr. degree, apprenticeship, or technical education?  It seems that all jobs will require addition training beyond high school of some kind.  However, if the only pathway that some students perceive as viable is a 4yr degree, then many will view themselves as failures or worse.

It’s time that new pathways are developed, presented and encouraged by both the education community and the business community that will eventually benefit from such efforts.

What do you think?