The one week summer camp for migrants’ children came to an end today. I received the first thank you from kids I was teaching, which just melted my heart. I also came to realise the huge limits of MOOC education among younger children. (below teenager age).
The first obstacle is every kid is different. At the age of ten, they have shown very varied cognitive development. Some could draw beautiful graphs on a computer, some could do almost nothing. I spent four days teaching one kid how to type A,B,C,D hand by hand. But for some others, they could type 26 alphabetics quickly. Many of them need some one to sit next to them, to understand what their learning blocks are, explore solutions and cheer for every tiny progress they made.
The second challenge is their current learning is still at very low level, comprising of lots of memorising and practice. To master learning at this level, they need constant hand holding and someone who imposes discipline. A MOOC model which requires students to be self-directed learners would not work.
MOOCs also do not provide the chance to improvise. In the middle of this week, when we were all exhausted, the fantastic teacher Stephanie played music from her iPad. We began to type and dance at the same time. Stephanie saw our exhaustion and boredom so she used music to turn this activity fun. This will only happen in a face-to-face environment.
Babies, sorry, we have not yet found a MOOC model which suits you right now. You will need to be a more grown up to catch the ride.