This is one of the first Fireside Codex posts, an endeavor to strive to write everyday. Today's journal entry is a response to this article: https://techcrunch.com/2020/12/22/to-win-post-pandemic-edtech-needs-to-start-thinking-big/
Since this is part of the codex, that means I am not going to worry about structure or optimization. This post is to share my thoughts, and to build a stronger habit. :)
The Rise of Edtech
I've been lucky in the fact that I've seen most of what edtech has to offer over the past decade. I started digging into MOOC's back in 2012, so REALLY early on. Since then I pursued my own endeavor to grow, and learn more. I created the formerly named D.I.Y. Degree, now Modular Degree. To be a system for myself to organize all of the e-learning materials I came across, that I wanted to employ in my education.
Over the years of pursuing my own Modegree, I was quickly made aware that other people could use it as well. I started creating content around it, and the possibilities. In the second half of 2020 I spent a lot of it with podcasts, including my own PolyCast, talking to others about many topics. Not in small part the Modegree or changes in education.
In the article mentioned above they highlighted the prominence of how schools are employing zoom as a means to hold classes. Especially in the idea that it isn't suitable for education, as it wasn't inherently meant for it. People and organizations had simply switched to it out of necessity.
It goes later into the text to explain that innovation must grow, and how some tools are tracing engagement. However I think that is the false way of thinking about it.
Evolution > Engagement
Education and learning is about the evolution of a skill in your life, not how much do you watch or read the materials. So many schools and platforms are looking at engagement as the one all be all, but not looking the reason for being. Being there in the course is what I mean.
How would someone track engagement, if that learner doesn't even think the course is worth it? This probably why most MOOC sites report barely 3-5% completion rate on their courses. Usually it is the people who pay for them too no less, which means they had some sort of external incentive.
I do believe this is where gamification comes into play, and others are in agreement with that. Although it is the HOW to implement games and gamification taht is the question.
I want to share a quote from the article that is a quote. #Meta
Zach Sims, the founder of Codecademy, told me that the startups that will “win” the next wave are the ones that are “using interactivity and technology to create an educational experience you just couldn’t have in the classroom.” -Techcrunch
I think the key point there is the interactivity, of which most learning management systems have failed to pull off effectively. #LMS
We Need Something Modular and Gamified
I've always found myself with two thoughts in mind: I want choice, and I want to have fun. For the former I chose an entrepreneurial path with PolyInnovator, and the latter I go with video games to relax.
Both incorporate that ideology in my life, but what about your own? How can you have choice, let alone having fun while doing it?
Well this is the reasoning behind the Modegree. I'm not going to go into the detail of that system today, but rather explain what we need.
Whether it is the course you are taking, how you are taking that course, or even the big picture of the "degree"; We should have the choices of what to do next. Now there are points of being pushed being good for you, so accounting for that grit or external pressure is super important.
However being able to have a modular path, that is unique to each learner IS THE FUTURE.
Ironically despite focusing on the big picture of how people's skills and knowledge will evolve. I have been spending a ton of time with the idea of gamifying things, and making the learning process much more like gaming.
Ideally education should feel like a game, and then we wouldn't have any issues with people completing. We can see this in the likes of Duolingo or CodeAcademy. However not only are they niched down, but also are limited in their gamification.
I plan on taking a really deep integration of gaming concepts, such as my much talked about Skill Tree Based Learning. In addition many other concepts coming into play as well.
Still a Ways off, but the Future
People are often surprised by my confidence on these matters, but it is because of my literal years of self-education deep experience. As well as, deep looks at what is available now, which are often limited or boring.
Even the best platforms are failing to get people to finish courses. Why is that? Simply because they are still in the lens of "university being the best learning". We have learned from countless studies in many areas. From retention of knowledge after leaving college, the rise of liberal arts degrees (the yearning for a modular system), and even just the accreditation system in general; That university is no longer working as it should. One could argue it never did it that well in the first place, but we had no alternative until now.
Do note: That sure the grammar in this post may not highlight my points well, or that I am being "hyperbolic", that doesn't mean that the words I write are wrong. #codexentry