Dr. Endicott-Popovksy at UW
This is Barbara Endicott-Popovsky. She teaches Cybersecurity at the University of Washington. She now teaches the same class to approximately 13,000 people using a MOOC (see 3rd paragraph regarding what’s a MOOC).
Barbara just invited me recently and three other professionals to participate in a filmed panel talking about emerging technologies and cybersecurity – this includes social media, virtual worlds, gaming, etc.
We spent two and a half hours in a studio with a score of professionals, taking and retaking one shot after another. We immortalized our thinking about this relevant topic in November 2012. But, the interactivity was practically non-existent.
What’s interactive about a MOOC?
Our interactivity was about as vivid as the graphic above. There were no people, no faces, no one actually interacting. We sat face front looking at the camera, Barbara a bit to the side, acted as talk show host for the video version of the class and the panel. She talked to a camera man, and an imaginary “class”.
We panelists didn’t talk among ourselves at all. Well maybe between takes. But, we didn’t see the class, we never had any contact with anyone consuming our ideas, it was like being filmed in a zoo. I think the only person that really got something out of it was the producer who was making the video and writing notes furiously. After this experience, I concluded MOOCs are a great idea, but their interactivity model is all wrong.
The Huffington Post just blogged today that MOOCS are Massive Open Online Courses, offered free as online college-level classes open to anyone, and everyone, who wants to take them. The blog touts Coursera, edX and Udacity. Huffington says MOOCs are a potential game changer. I’m wondering whose game they’re changing if the interactivity isn’t even as good as a real classroom.
I’m wondering how anyone is going to make money at this? Or better yet, how much money people are going to spend to be part of this I saw a lot of money being spent. But Barbara wasn’t getting anything, none of the panelists were getting anything, and even the three guys video taping are working off existing salaries at the UW. Why is this the “Year of the MOOC“?
Well, what a great time for a virtual world to step up and start offering some real interactive experiences. In fact, we put together a video to show how this could be done. We used the occasion of How to Conduct Government Conferences in Virtual Worlds with our co-conspirators: ASTD, the Technology and Telehealth group of the DoD, and the National Defense University. Conferences in Virtual Worlds.
Well, there is something to be said about moving conferences and real interactivity inside a virtual world. And we asked that question five years ago, do you want to be 3D. We are betting on — you do.
How to run a conference in 3D by 2b3d, ASTD, T2 and NDU.
We’ll be happy to do that for you. Visit us at http://www.2b3d.net