MY MOOC BLOG, Day 2. In the library parking lot yesterday I ran into Bryan Alexander and because I know he is interested in such things, I told him I had signed up for a MOOC. He was with his son, who excitedly said that it was his dad who invented the term MOOC! Bryan confirmed that he was indeed one of the devisers of the acronym; Wikipedia identifies the other as Dave Cormier.
(In case you didn’t know, I should add that MOOC is pronounced MOOK, and not, for example, MOO-CEE. You might think this because ROTC is ROT-CEE, and GUI, the acronym for Graphical User Interface, is universally “GOOEY.”)
Hail to all namers! Giving new things their first memorable names is an important act. I recall the exact moment, probably in 1980, when I first noticed the word “hypertext.” It appeared on a sign posted next to a glowing blue computer screen in the downstairs hallway of the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. On the screen was text with certain words marked as clickable, although we didn’t have that word yet, because this was all in the dark pre-mouse days. Maybe you used the arrow keys? I clicked around on a few words, which were linked to other pages. After a few minutes I decided that hypertext was theoretically a good idea but wasn’t going to amount to anything.
What can I say? I’m a notorious late adopter in all areas of technology, as I have publicly confessed at http://goo.gl/WO417Z.