Cities, MOOCs, Global Networks

GlobalHigherEd

GlobalHigherEd: Surveying the Construction of Global Knowledge/Spaces for the Knowledge Economy (cross-posted since 2010 on Inside Higher Ed), May 21, 2013

Kris Olds discusses the tangle of global networks being formed via MOOCs, with their nodes based in city-regions such as Greater Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area, ‘to create new spaces of knowledge production to creatively unsettle and hopefully strengthen city-region innovation systems.’

The last several days of higher ed media coverage have been rich with discussions about the tangle of global networks being formed.  A case in point is this announcement, by Imperial College London and Zhejiang University, to collaborate on a new initiative in London’s White City. Much like the Amsterdam’s plans to establish a new university (‘On Amsterdam’s Plans to Establish a Third University‘), and the Cornell-Technion experiment in New York City, these global networks are quite tightly configured and very urban-centered: they are being harnessed to create new spaces of knowledge production to creatively unsettle and hopefully strengthen city-region innovation systems.

On the global/urban theme, today’s coverage also included news about the expansion of a Boston-based massive open online course (MOOC) platform – EdX – such that it will now double in size and serve universities from many more parts of the world. The EdX press release explains the nature of the expansion, while these two images from the EdX website – the first reflecting membership yesterday, and the second membership today – make it very clear EdX is now a much more global (if unevenly!) platform: […]

One way or another, the Boston and San Francisco Bay Area city-regions have blended ideas born elsewhere (including in Canada) with their own experiences, drawn in substantial resources, and powered up a global MOOCs juggernaut. And yes there is far too much hype (especially in the austerity-rattled U.S.) regarding MOOCs, but this is no time to back off on sustained engagement with such a fast changing phenomenon. [my emphases; read more]

What do these universities have in common?

edX

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