Tom Vander Ark: Canvas.net Shifts The MOOC Model Paradigms
By Wired Academic on January 11, 2013
Blended Learning, Domestic, K-12, MOOCs, Opinion, Personalized Learning, Required, Startups, STEM, Technology, Universities & Colleges
Next week classes kick off on Canvas.net, a hosting site for massively open online courses (MOOC) from universities including Ball State, Brown, Central Florida, and Utah. Unlike Coursera and Udacity, content partners can make decisions about the course instruction, assessment, instructional materials, and cost.
Most interesting from a K-12 perspective is Exploring Engineering, a two-week high school course starting April 1, 2013 and taught by Karen Haberstroh, Director of STEM Outreach at Brown University. The course will provide an overview of various fields of engineering and give students an opportunity to learn about engineering contributions to society. Sorry, the class is already full. But perhaps it will be the first of many and a model for other pre-collegiate MOOCs.
The courses will be hosted by Instructure, a Salt Lake City company, on Canvas, a learning management system (LMS) currently used by 300 schools and universities.
Instructure got off to a big start two years ago by winning a Utah Education Network bid to work with 17 institutions that made up that consortium.
Compared to other LMS, Canvas is “a paradigm shift” because it is “open-sourced, cloud-based, and features new technology and an updated experience,” said CEO Josh Coates.
Canvas released an Android app last week and has supported Apple iOS for a year.
Vander Ark is author of Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World and founder of GettingSmart.com. Tom is also CEO of Open Education Solutions and a partner in Learn Capital, a venture capital firm investing in learning content, platforms, and services with the goal of transforming educational engagement, access, and effectiveness.
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