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MOOCs I’d Like To See

311gNTNy7oLRecently I told you all about MOOCs – Massive Open On-line Courses. They are classes taught, often by professors at major universities and colleges and streamed around the world on the internet. You can take business from Harvard or quantum physics from Caltech right from the comfortable seat in front of your computer.

They’re the on-line college of the future, today!

While I was asked by my colleagues to write a blog post on “what MOOCs would you like to see” I think I took it a little too literally. I instead came up with some MOOCs that I, Robin Green would like to see. Classes that are meaningful to me, and literally no one else.

Classes such as:

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Online College…Football???

OCFBFor the over 6 million people that take college classes online things are great. It’s affordable and they can make their own schedule and get a college degree, all while working on their career or raising their family at the same time.

But they have one problem, it’s college football season and for those at an online only school, they have no team to follow!

The season’s in full swing and there’s plenty of excitement. Alabama’s opening strong and upsets featuring teams like Kansas State and Oregon State are turning the rankings upside down. “Johnny Football,” Johnny Manziel is already going crazy, on the field and off! But for the millions of online college students they can’t even root for a team of their own.

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MOOC Brings Higher Education to the Masses

mooc1Remember when they said that in the future you’d have a flying car, food in the form of a pill (who wants that) and teleportation, but instead all we got was weird Miley Cyrus dance routines with teddy bears? Well there’s one thing we were promised in the future that is now here: college by computer. And it’s called a “MOOC.”

What a MOOC is

MOOC stands for MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSES. They are classes that are taught on site at an actual university (like Berkely or MIT) but are broadcast on the web to thousands and potentially millions of students around the world either via streaming or by use of a video site such as YouTube. While most MOOCs are simply individual classes that are provided to users, some MOOCs (known sometimes as XMOOCS) enhance the experience by offering on-line quizzes, message boards and chat functions that create an on-line community, sometimes led by a teacher, that replicates the traditional college experience.

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Five Organizations with the Most Influence over the American Education System

During tough economic times the government has to make difficult decisions on whether or not to cut funding or to raise taxes. Look at any government budget proposal and you’ll see congressmen and senators quarreling over what gets cut and if taxes should be raised. It seems every time a budget proposal hits the floor it isn’t until the final hour that both sides agree on a budget. Programs like the military spending, Medicaid and Medicare dominate the federal budget, but others like education also make up a good chunk of the budget.

Currently the federal education budget is $68.1 billion and there are several players influencing this budget and the overall educational system in the United States. Here are five powerful groups you may not know are shaping the U.S. educational system.

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Is Homework Making You a Worse Student?

Everyone thought it growing up – but now there might actually be proof. Australian researchers are saying what we’ve thought (and whined) all along: homework is pointless.

“If we (ask) if homework benefits outcomes, then it is pretty clear it does not at primary school and has pretty limited benefits in junior high school and some benefits in high school from Years 11-12.” says associate professor Richard Walker from Sydney University’s Education Faculty.

All those wasted years in grade school practicing your spelling might not have all been for naught. Walker says a little bit of homework is good for early students because it helps them become self-starters at a later age.

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