Trend Watch: MOOCs & Maker Spaces

Maker spaces are in. From libraries to 11 year-old web series stars, everyone is inviting everyone else to get in on this movement. Alternatively, as that new trend takes center stage we are seeing more articles featuring contrasting opinions about MOOCs.  An exciting, yet disruptive force in the higher education market, MOOCs are receiving a mixture of open-armed acceptance and resistance from universities and their leaders. Check out our top reads on these hot topics below!

A Science Star Already, Tinkering With the Idea of Growing Up via The New York Times Sylvia Todd’s desk is not tidy. It’s cluttered with small robots, motors, wires, resistors, a soldering iron and an array of other gadgets and tools. A maker, tinkerer and online celebrity, Sylvia has attracted more than 1.5 million YouTube views of the show she produces and hosts, the Web-based “Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show.”

Meet Your Makers via Publishers Weekly ….in the past 18 months, a growing number of libraries have been taking a much more radical approach: creating “maker” spaces. Based on the idea that libraries are for creation, not just consumption, maker spaces don’t just upend the normal programming model—they have the potential to reinvent the public library.

Why Some College Are  Saying No to MOOC Deals, at Least for Now via The Chronicle of Higher Education Amherst College, known for its selectivity, is accustomed to sending rejection notices. But when the liberal-arts beacon this month turned down an invitation to join the exclusive partnership of colleges offering massive open online courses through edX, it nonetheless drew surprise from many corners of academe.

MOOC Skeptics at the Top via Inside Higher Ed It would be easy to think that the leaders of American higher education are all in when it comes to MOOCs. Dozens of colleges and universities — many of them among the elites — have rushed to offer massive open online courses. Top foundations back the effort. The American Council on Education has moved quickly to certify some of the courses as credit-worthy. Many other colleges are considering plans to award credit for MOOCs or to use them in instruction.

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