Three readings worth your time this week.
Remember all the talk from a few years ago about how MOOCs were going to disrupt higher education? Audrey Watters offers a great review of all the hype and attempts to figure out what happened to the MOOC revolution? Spoiler alert: it has to do in part with course completion rates around 15 percent. (about 8 minutes)
To celebrate the opening of a new year in most US schools, The Atlantic published the opinions of a panel of “education experts” on six different topics. The post on homework is an interesting read, and, despite the title of When Homework is Useless, most of the experts felt kids should still be required to complete at least some form of the traditional assignment. (about 5 minutes)
It’s probably only for total geek baby boomers, but I enjoyed this oral history of the 80’s 20-minute-into-the-future media phenomena that was Max Headroom. The program is still entertaining, and possibly even more relevant. (about 30 minutes)
Two audio tracks for your commute.
In a segment of the podcast Revisionist History, Malcolm Gladwell (whom you may know from books like The Tipping Point) talks about The Satire Paradox (39:10). The paradox being that satire doesn’t seem to change anyone’s mind. Something to think about.
Planet Money took a novel approach to the issue of fossil fuels by actually buying some oil and following it to the pump, looking at a variety of issues along the way. If you don’t have time for all five segments, listen to the last one that imagines a World Without Oil. (26:29)
One video to watch when you have a few minutes.
When it comes to TED talks, you probably think of inspiring lectures. But the E in the name stands for Entertainment and in this “talk” from a 2015 TEDx in Sydney, Australia, the wonderful acapella group The Idea of North explain their music and provide great, very entertaining examples. (17:04)