I am a very skeptical person. I have started to reflect on our own experiments in distance education; experiments that have been carry out here in El Salvador. I recalled that starting my middle school years I used a collection of books called Televisión Educativa. I found out it was the biggest project this country has carry out on distance learning. Héctor Lindo-Fuentes, in a paper entitled: Educational Television in El Salvador and Modernization Theory, describes the project. Also, in his new book, through the perspective of Modernization Theory and using the cold war as a context, Héctor Lindo-Fuentes describes the Televisión Educativa experiment. It had as a laboratory the tiniest nation in Central America.
Héctor starts his book with a story that took place on July 7, 1968. President Lyndon Johnson visited El Salvador. He came to meet all centralamerican presidents. He announce the patronage of Televisión Educativa. And he made a boastful declaration: "you have already made the beginning to being the first nation in all the world with a complete educational television system. And some day we hope the United States can catch up with you."
I asked Héctor if he sees any prospect of impact in this new dynamic of MOOC.
He said: "I do not think it is a panacea that can easily dismiss the classroom quality. Moreover, it is one thing to teach undergraduate and graduate students. And it is other thing to teach the first years of school". He added: "In short, I think if the instrument is used properly and it is flexible enough to understand their limits much can be done with the remote computer education."