In today’s world, we can transition from college student to operagoer to museum visitor without closing our laptops. Technology is changing the way we build communities and share information.
MOOCs are bringing a new dimension to online education and also helping faculty to create and incorporate digital elements into their on-campus courses, as noted in the Harvard Magazine article, “What Modularity Means for MOOCs.”
The article cites an excerpt from MIT’s Institute-wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education report, which aptly captures the broader digital trend.
“Blurring of boundaries: Traditional boundaries in various media and platforms are becoming less distinct, creating new opportunities and greater potential for collaboration. The availability of online video through YouTube, iTunes, Hulu, and other sources, for example, has blurred the boundaries between traditional television programming, cable, computers, and mobile phones.”
The ‘blurring of boundaries’ extends to enjoying the arts as well. The New York Metropolitan Opera offers a range of options – from “Met Opera on Demand” for the iPad to The Met’s “Live in HD” which brings live simulcasts and recorded performances to movie theatres.
And not just art, but history as well. One important piece of history crossing boundaries and going ‘digital’ is the Gettysburg Address. “Learn the Address” was created to commemorate the 150-year anniversary of Lincoln’s historic speech this year. From the website:
“To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, documentarian Ken Burns, along with numerous partners, has launched a national effort to encourage everyone in America to video record themselves reading or reciting the speech. The collection of recordings housed on this site will continue to grow as more and more people are inspired by the power of history and take the challenge to LEARN THE ADDRESS.”
The website showcases over 1,000 videos of people reciting the Gettysburg Address. The “Address Mashup” below features celebrities and politicians.
From online courses, to the arts, to historic objects in museums, the digital world is supporting the transfer of knowledge across generations in multiple ways – and at least for MOOCs, we are gathering data that will educate us all about teaching and learning online and on-campus.