Digital Education, MOOCs and the Specter of the Cyberteacher

Beatrice Marovich

A disruptive specter has been haunting debates over the role of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) in the future of higher education: the “cyberteacher.” This figure of the “cyberteacher” gestures apocalyptically toward a future in which educators are fully automated. In this presentation, I urge digital educators to think more critically about how to keep the “human elements” in digital education. I’ll evoke John Dewey’s philosophy of democratic education as well as the the feminist collective FemTechNet’s model of the Distributed Online Collaborative Course (DOCC) to gesture toward other possible futures where education’s human elements are not sidelined in favor of technological efficiency.

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