We’re all very guilty of getting caught up in our “own wee worlds” and sometimes it we all need to just “step away from the computer”. I recently did just that. I had a week’s annual leave, and came back to the usual overflowing in-box.
In one sense I felt I’d missed a lot, but have the reassurance of colleagues and networks who can bring me up to speed if necessary. It seems we are just about over the threat of MOOCs too (see Martin Weller’s post. Universities as we know them are no longer doomed – hurrah, people might even stop using the word – hurrah, we can all move on to the next shiny thing. But there has been a lot of (justified) concern about licences, terms and conditions (see Lorna’s excellent post on FutureLearn’s t&cs ).
But then yesterday I was sharply reminded that what I had missed in a week is really nothing compared to what is actually being related and shared to the wider community. So much just passes everyone by. I was asked to speak on a BBC Scotland Radio show about MOOCs. I know, not exactly hitting the big time, but hey it was the Fred MacAulay show – he’s on Radio 4 sometimes and even gets on the telly every now and again. What struck me when I was speaking to the researcher and during the (very) short interview is how taken “normal people” were by the notion of having more and free access to education. In the UK anyway, most non ed tech people have missed all the hype (and angst) and are actually more interested in just finding out about how they can find ways to learn some “stuff”. So hopefully we can, as Martin says in his blog, take comfort that “back in the real world” people really do want more “access and experimentation and not hype and commercialism”. The big messages are getting across, however slowly it seem to us.
If you are at all interested the interview is available to listen to again via the BBC iplayer (the interview starts at 5mins 20 and last a little over 5 minutes and I did manage to blow the “MOOCs started in America” myth.