Comments
MIT Sees Zombies And MOOCs In Education's Future
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Michael Fitzgerald
50%
50%
Michael Fitzgerald,
User Rank: Moderator
6/4/2013 | 9:10:50 PM
re: MIT Sees Zombies And MOOCs In Education's Future
okay, we're getting hung up on the avatars. What matters is communication. I taught an online course this past spring, and the inability to engage in something approaching a conversation with people was a problem. The ability to have real conversations online would've have been a tremendous help. Think of the avatars as a placeholder for video or something. Or think about this: people get deeply invested in 3D avatars in gaming, so why couldn't they do so in other types of programs?
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
6/3/2013 | 10:42:08 PM
re: MIT Sees Zombies And MOOCs In Education's Future
I have to say I'm profoundly skeptical about 3D avatars for anything other than online gaming.
David F. Carr
50%
50%
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
6/3/2013 | 6:19:52 PM
re: MIT Sees Zombies And MOOCs In Education's Future
Interesting. I always thought the tech had the best potential for teaching something like architecture, where you might be touring the virtual representation of a building that doesn't exist yet, or maybe engineering representations of an aircraft or a rocket.
Michael Fitzgerald
50%
50%
Michael Fitzgerald,
User Rank: Moderator
6/3/2013 | 6:07:31 PM
re: MIT Sees Zombies And MOOCs In Education's Future
Hi David,

I probed on that same point. What people told me is that the three-dimensional audio, the ability to hold conversations that are much like you could have at an actual seminar, changes the dynamic in an important way. I agree that it seems like a small thing, but we've all seen an iterative change transform a failed technology into a groundbreaker. I'll see if Erik Brynjolfsson will comment on this.
It also is a system designed for collaboration, so it's more focused than Second Life. I'm going to file something today about MIT expanding its usage of this system, so we'll have a better sense of its effectiveness over time.
MIchael
David F. Carr
50%
50%
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
6/3/2013 | 4:48:14 PM
re: MIT Sees Zombies And MOOCs In Education's Future
The Second Life phenomenon has faded dramatically, so I don't get why imitating that style of interaction would make sense for educators trying to innovate. There were all sorts of experiments with teaching on Second Life islands a few years ago, but now that's an old enthusiasm people laugh at.


Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.