UnX: MOOCs on the Go
Mr Luis Rodriguez, Ms Raquel Fernández and Mr Leo Burd | Presentation (PDF)
Center for Virtual Education (CSEV)
Why Mobile? Whether or not the rise of MOOCs will prove to warrant the attention that is drawn nowadays, there is no doubt that they are shaking up the educational system thanks to their ability to redefine its main pillars, such as the roles played by teachers and students, the emergence of new evaluation and certification mechanisms or the changing nature of learning.
The mobile industry has been one of the fastest growing industries ever. Mobile technologies − smartphones, tablets, wireless and geo-positioning tech, etc. – have experienced a huge development in the last years and become part of our lives, changing the way we interact with things and among us. The big deal is how to leverage these technologies by combining them with other elements such as social networks, cloud computing, etc. and exploit its great potential for MOOCs.
UnX is an innovative on-line community for entrepreneurship that promotes open education and collaboration in Spain, Portugal and Latin America.
UnX is based on the delivery of MOOCs with open and flexible content from websites, wikis, OERs and social networks, which can be scaled up to respond to demand.
The unX platform is now being optimized for mobile devices so that users can take all the opportunities to learn −on the bus, train, at home, etc.
In the next months, unX will become the first MOOC and social platform 100% available through mobile devices.
UnX Learning on the Go strategy aims at adapting the MOOC platform and educational content to mobile devices (currently iPhone and Android). The professors teaching the MOOCs will work with app developers to design on-line and off-line educational apps. They will use new learning-focused technologies, like geo-positioning and AR, to be both embedded on the MOOC platform and offered separately (e.g. on Apple Store and Google Play).
These apps will improve the connection of the Community with social networks and local opportunities, increase opportunities for collaboration and enhance the sustainability of the whole open learning experience.
The unX MOOC mobile platform will:
- Be tailored to the learner’s time and location.
- Be mobile device-friendly (screen, size, resolution, etc.).
- Offer off-line access to content (through the native off-line app).
- Offer resources in several languages (currently Spanish and Portuguese; English available in short).
- Include a calendar of meet-ups and local opportunities.
- Include a project gallery, experiences (geo-tagging) and bookmarks.
- Offer social networking with peers and mentors.
- Use ‘Get mobile’ credits (credits obtained from digital devices) for class credits (official academic credits) and other user engagement mechanisms.
- Native on-line apps offer complementary content to open courses and enrich the resources available in the community.
- These apps will be available both embedded in the unX platform and in marketplaces.
- Off-line apps allow access to unX extra content (exercises, demos, literature) with no internet connection.
- Off-line apps will reduce data plan costs, offer high quality video playback and enable the download of extra content when on-line to view later.
Center for Virtual Education (CSEV) is a Spanish non-profit organization created to promote e-learning through the application of ICT in education and is oriented to promote knowledge creation and transfer among individuals, businesses and institutions; reduce time-to- implementation of new skills and knowledge; adapt learning options to social needs and individual skills and preferences, and eliminate geographical and social barriers to higher and lifelong education.
Leo Burd PhD is a researcher with the MIT Center for Mobile Learning, where he develops novel technologies and approaches for education and social empowerment. Prior to MIT, he was part of Microsoft's Global Learning Research team. He has a BSc in Computer Science, a MSc on the design of software for educational activities, and a PhD from the MIT Media Lab on the development of technological initiatives for social empowerment.
Raquel Fernández is the Deputy Director of Project Coordination in CSEV and the project manager of unX platform. She has a B.S. in Computer Engineering, an MBA and an International Business major. Previously she worked giving direct support to the Secretary of State for Telecommunication and the Information Society, State Cabinet of Spain.
Luis Rodríguez is currently Deputy Director of Analysis and Prospective of CSEV. As such, his activity is mainly focused on the detection of future trends applied to e-learning, worldwide e-learning analysis of activities and good practices through 2.0 tools, elaboration of new indicators for the measurement of the role of ICT in education and the evaluation of e-learning uptake.