Audio Review # 114 | P2PU, By Any Other Name, Still Smells As Sweet

Overview

P2PU’s (Peer to Peer University) tagline says it all, “Playful, networked learning experiences that last. Instead of lonely, anonymous online courses, our communities sustain interest and engagement because folks build them together. We are open and welcoming in everything we do, and help folks generally feel comfy on the internet.”

P2PU creates a platform for teachers across time/space to collaborate on online course design and implementation, thus breaking down the four walls of institutional learning. This efforts is a grassroots effort to redefine educational structures. What the participants of P2PU understand is that all learning starts with the relationship. This is as true for teachers cooperating in the building of courses as the student-teacher relationship. The very lines of teacher/instructor and student are blurred here, re-envisioning what it means to create a course. In P2PU, anyone can build a course collaboratively, and take any courses that one desires. The interactions between course creators, the course itself, and the participants, shape the course s organically. Courses adapt to user needs, making them, potentially, highly fluid.

While accrediting authorities, such as WASC, currently do not recognize any P2PU courses, the actual amount and quality of content on P2PU is significant. This effort promotes learning for learning’s sake, and is Socratic at that level. Rather than diplomas or certificates of completions, P2PU adopts the badge system to acknowledge course completion.

Concerns

P2PU is not a replacement for the formal K-12 environment. Rather, it strikes me as a potentially fun and educational “J Term” style service where teachers can build course of interest and people can explore topics not offered at more traditional institutions. Also, for those of us in the educational community who yearn for the curricular freedom that P2PU offers, the university could become crack-level addictive. In addition, the collaboration aspect could be hit or miss. Collaborating is not turn-teaching. It means a great deal of coordination and philosophical agreement.

Sample Uses

For adults taking courses simply to learn content and skills of interest, or for young adults wishing to explore non-standard topics, P2PU appears to be an answer.

Do I plan to use it?

No. I am drawn to this site like a month is to flame. I would spend entirely too much time building courses of interest.

Commitment and Learning Curve

Commitment is high, and learning curve varies with one’s experience building online content. Also, the collaboration aspect makes commitment and learning curve even less predicatble.

Best for ES MS or HS?

Teachers of all ages, and HS students seeking non-traditional courses

Cost: Free!

Website Link: https://p2pu.org/en/

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About miles.mei

IT Multimedia Specialist

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