In “Bioinformatics Algorithms — Part 1,” UC San Diego computer science and engineering professor Pavel Pevzner and his graduate students are offering a course on Coursera that combines research with a MOOC (massive open online course) for the first time.
“All students who sign up for the course will be given an opportunity to work on specific research projects under the leadership of prominent bioinformatics scientists from different countries, who have agreed to interact and mentor their respective teams.”
I like this for a number of reasons. First, by disaggregating the research process to the students it follows my theory of Disaggregation. Second, the most effective way to learn something is to do it yourself. The least effective way is to have somebody else tell you about it. With the amount of computing power available to individuals rising at the speed of Moore’s Law, it makes sense we will be able to do research that was previously limited to scientists with super computers. We will be able to have a virtual lab simulation on our computers.
On top of all this, there are more and more sensors being connect to the Internet. We can now wear biometric devices that monitor our health and activity levels. With Google Glass, we can wear cameras that can record everything we do. With image processing techniques we can then derive information from the recorded images and share it with others.
Call it crowd sourcing research. What will happen when some incoming students into public high school have already done research online. How do you teach to that class? How does Common Core work in that situation? The students are going to be even more diverse.
I have written about this previously. See One Size Doesn’t Fit All