Twofish's Blog

August 5, 2006

Globewide Network Academy 2.0

Filed under: academia, wikipedia — twofish @ 9:08 pm

I made a number of comments in the educational discussion panel about Wikiversity, and a lot of it was based on my experiences running the Globewide Network Academy http://www.gnacademy.org/.  The key one is that the basis for a university is social networks, and the rise and decline of GNA was closely associated with the rise and fall of MOO’s.

The other thing that I found in GNA were these two facts 1) to create a substantial academic organization you need to spend lots of time raising money and networking and 2) I hate raising money and networking.  So I decided to spend most of my time not developing an organization, and more time trying to do actual research.

I don’t think that the missing piece in creating an *open architecture* online university is courseware.  There is courseware scattered all over the network.  The missing piece is a whole host of support services.   For example, I would like to work as an astronomy tutor.  This requires a whole host of academic support services.  I need library services, student advising.  I would like someone to help me find students, conduct evalutions, collect bills, provide counseling, help the student fit everything into an academic plan, and a lot of other stuff that 1) I don’t like to do and 2) I’m no good at.

The thing that would be very useful to me is to have an academic support organization

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