So I’m looking at pretty bleak odds right now in terms of getting home from beautiful Monterey (where I got the experience of presenting on the TED stage even though it wan’t the TED conference) because there is this big blob of icy snow blue over New Jersey on the weather maps today. But this article about a Boston College professor who is using wikis to have students create the text for his course lifted my spirits a bit. Lots of shifts:

“My wiki is my textbook now,” he said. “This platform is infinitely better and gets better information from a variety of sources. It takes a year and half for a textbook to get published, and by the time that happens it is outdated. [The use of] textbooks will begin to fade … and these more collaborative-based, environment will probably rise to the surface.”

But here is the chuckle. In the comments on the story, we quickly get the typical skeptic:

What exactly are the students (or their parents) paying for, and what exactly do the students know at the end of the course that they didn’t know before? Or does everybody just get a nice fuzzy feeling because they create their own exams and determine their own grades? And how many credits do they get for this waste of time and money?

And, in an example of what fun all of this is, a student from the class gives a great response starting with “I’ll take poor assumptions for $800, Alex”. Nice.

Maybe my assumptions about the weather are wrong too…

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