At the birthday party I attended last week with my two daughters, the professional site hosting the party had the children move into three different rooms during the course of the two hour party – from a room with slides, toanother one with trampolines, and lastly to the banquet room where the birthday cake was cut. Why did they set things up in this way? Because it’s exciting to be playing in a space that is constantly changing!
The world of learning and teaching is also undergoing rapid change. The advent of MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) is making excellent content available to those who have internet access around the world. The value of traditional classroom instruction in a fast changing post-modern/globalizing/conceptual (pick your favorite) world is being questioned. And ‘Edupreneurs’ around the world are creating new organizations bringing relevant skills to more people at lower costs. Within our circle of friends, UPEACE graduate Nick Martin founded TechChange a couple of years ago and was recently featured in the Economist article ‘Geeks for good”. Another edupreneur and frequent visitor to UPEACE, Roshan Paul left Ashoka to found the Amani Institute last year. And though not yet an acquaintance, the former CEO of Snapish is launching an online university to compete against the best in the world. (Watch TED talk)
At the UPEACE Centre for Executive Education, we are feeling a lot like kids at the birthday party. We launched our first online course less than 2 years ago, and we’re already looking for a Learning Management System (LMS). We added two new online courses last year, but our alumni are already asking “What else do you have”? And we thought that between our online courses and our face-to-face offerings we were well-covered, but a University partner requested a ‘hybrid’ course, combining face-to-face with online. Each of these situations is making us move out of our comfort zone, into a new space.
The party will go on in 2013. We are developing new courses in the areas of ‘Emotional Intelligence in a Virtual World’, ‘Positive Leadership‘, ‘Impact Measurement‘, and ‘Educating in a Changing World’. We’ll be announcing our Diploma in Social Innovation in our next newsletter. All this while reaching out to new university partners and adding to our face-to-face courses in Costa Rica.
And please do notice our new website before it’s obsolete! Ok, so who’s bringing the chocolate cake?