Monday Morning Digest: Learning Competency

What else this week but the whole future of education? (Our ambition is so narrow, we know.) Well, actually, it’s mostly this: the Chronicle of Higher Education did a roundup of their own on all things MOOC, and Sal Khan wrote a book (we’re assuming he didn’t use a tablet and a screen recorder to do it). He says some things, and they make a lot of sense (and for you ed-innovation bingo players out there, “flipping the classroom” barely makes an appearance; it might be time to trade in your card).


 

What Does it Mean When a College Kid From Ecuador Beats the Best? (Education Week)
A few days ago, the Hewlett Foundation gave out $100k in its automated assessment competition. Vander Ark outlines some lessons learned from the rounds of competition; the buried lead: “the winners all learned a lot from Andrew Ng’s Stanford MOOC.”

Why School Should Be More Like Summer Camp (Smithsonian)
Portfolio assessments. Creative projects. Goal-setting. No bells. Sal Khan’s vision of the future classroom might not be new (by a long shot), but it is increasingly realistic. Sal has a new book out, The One-World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined; you can see his fireside chat with Google’s Eric Schmidt here (YouTube).

The Future of Credentials (CNN)
In this “Schools of Thought” blog post, Sal Khan splits education into learning, socialization, and credentialing, and takes a look at the last one. “Microcredentials”, he hopes, will improve the university experience, level the playing field, and increase opportunity for non-traditional students and non-students alike.

A Disruption Grows Up? (Inside Higher Ed)
This delves deeper into some of what Khan was exploring re: credentialing, and alleges that not just private institutions, but also the federal government, might be getting on board with competency-based education.

Bits and Pieces:

Want to hear all about MOOCs from multiple perspectives and stakeholders (skeptics included)? The Chronicle’s got you covered.

Ars Technica runs a feature that pulls discussions out of the Stack Exchange community. This time around, the topic up for discussion is the importance of self-study for getting into programming. Answers range from “very important” to “critical.” What a perfect time to mention that we’ve just put CS101 through peer review…

A tip of the hat to Jeff and Angelyn for several of these links!

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