Dear Commons Community,
Anant Agarwal, president of edX, gave the closing keynote at the Sloan-C International Conference yesterday. Funded by M.I.T. and Harvard University, edX “aspires to reinvent education through online learning”. Agarwal gave a good overview of edX and where he thinks MOOC technologies are headed in the future. The presentation covered areas familiar to many in the audience who have been involved with online learning for many years. However, it was still important to get the perspective of someone who has significant resources at his disposal to develop and advance online learning technologies.
Agarwal’s most telling comments had to do with blended learning. Like Daphne Koller (Coursera) who gave a keynote on Thursday, Agarwal was a main proponent of blended learning especially here in the United States. My major take-away from their presentations is that MOOCs are evolving as content providers not online learning providers and that their materials will be used as needed by college faculty in a variety of ways in blended formats.
As I flew home last night, I must say that the conference was well done and stimulated a good deal of thinking on my part. For anyone in New York City on December 6th, I will be giving a talk entitled, Blended Learning Meets MOOCs: Education’s Digital Future! at the CUNY IT Conference, where I will continue some of the discussion described above.