Exciting times in Higher Education

While MOOCs are all the rage, closely watched to see if they succeed at disrupting the industry, and other advances in technology are spurring innovation in education, I recall the old Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times. I also recall them pointing out that every crisis contains both danger and opportunity.

I facilitated a conversation with several faculty yesterday on the topic of the flipped classroom. (See an infographic about it under the fold.) As a homework assignment, I’m seeking examples of flipped or hybrid or blended classes in higher education, preferably in the Humanities, specifically Religion would be wonderful.

And then an Education Dive article caught my attention: 5 Technologies that are Revolutionizing Education. The 5 new technologies, identified by the Brookings Institution, are massive open online courses (MOOCs), robot assisted language learning (RALL), Minecraft, computerized adaptive testing (CAT), and stealth assessment. The report goes into considerable detail about these advancements.

I was surprised to see Minecraft on the list, but, being familiar with game-based education, I saw that it was a no-brainer. Minecraft is an open-ended simulation “game” of exploration and role playing. It looks like I’m going to have to actually join my 9 year old son in the world randomly generated on the server I set up for him on our home computer. There’s even a group of educators who have developed a MinecraftEdu resource for how to use it in multi-disciplinary education (and a mod for controlling the experience in a classroom setting.)

Oh, and stealth assessment–a fascinating prospect–involves using games to assess learning. Education can indeed be fun!

Infographic created by Daniel Grafton using Piktochart.


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