some balance on Futurelearn, MOOCs

Some tweets are too short to include all the background. I have been positive about Futurelearn partly because the Guardian seems to be mostly publishing negative views. I do think Futurelearn will be a major event for the UK and it should start with some support. 

The MOOC term is not perfect. I don't know how open the material will be. there are rumors about copyright in some cases. But I think the trend is for open content, at least most material is available in some form. They have not arrived suddenly out of nowhere. There is a long development of similar ideas. I don't think they have to be massive. They are more to do with marketing than first appears. Maybe it is accepted that many people who sign up will just check out the material without completing the course. 

Recently I think UK universities have paid less attention to making content widely available for general interest. The MOOC is one way of doing this. I notice in the UK that Oxford and Cambridge are not part of Futurelearn but both have university presses that publish books for a wide audience. I wonder what form the book will take in future. this could be an overlap with how MOOCs are used.  The people who are critical of MOOCs as too commercial and/or a threat to existing practice could come up with alternatives. There are many ways of publishing online.

I imagine many people will include checking out what is available and include it in with other interests. There may be local groups that study together or are formed somehow. There are problems in a lack of discussion and feedback that are part of normal courses but I think this can be worked on.

One thing has changed already. I thought the Futurelearn launch was much too UK orientated. Now there are at least two universities from outside the UK. So things can change. Suggest general support and let them know about issues.