Monday, June 22, 2015

No, Sesame Street Was Not the First MOOC - Hack Education

Hack Education
Clearly it’s a research paper perfectly titled for widespread circulation, combining everyone’s favorite early childhood TV show with one of the most overhyped acronyms in ed-tech: “Early Childhood Education by MOOC: Lessons from Sesame Street.”
So no surprise, the recent paper by University of Maryland’s Melissa Kearney and Wellesley College’s Phillip Levine on the educational benefits of Sesame Street has received plenty of media coverage, with many outlets parroting the comparison: Sesame Street as MOOC. “The Original MOOC: Can Sesame Street Replace Preschool?” asks Edsurge. “Sesame Street was the original MOOC,” says the Brookings Institution.
But Sesame Street was not the first MOOC. And really, it is not a MOOC at all. To argue such – to offer that analogy – is historically flawed, erasing other earlier educational media. Furthermore, the analogy erases important differences between the research and design of Sesame Street and that of MOOCs (particularly those MOOCs that have been popularized by the press)....


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