I was at the airport about this time last Sunday, when I overheard a conversation that’s becoming quite commonplace. One person was explaining to another what a MOOC was, but he couldn’t remember what the letters stood for. As someone who regards himself as an amateur, ad-hoc, in-the-moment teacher, I felt compelled to help him out: “Massive. Open. Online. Course.” He thanked me. He had been struggling to remember the “open” part of the MOOC message. And, even more interesting, he had been struggling to remember the word “course.” Over the past few months, more and more clients and partners have been coming to me to deconstruct not just the acronym but also the attributes of MOOCs, Forbes reports. So often in fact that I have decided to write a short series on the subject. There are many things to say about both the true impact and hype about MOOCs in the larger narrative that’s emerging about disruption in education. But from where I sit, what’s most important to note about MOOCs in 2013 is something that the acronym does not yet capture: the massive disruption we’re seeing in education will be online and offline, too.
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