Innovative humanities MOOC, “Visualizing Japan,” nominated for the Japan Prize
In a Q&A, course co-founder Professor Shigeru Miyagawa discusses his unique online course and its impact on digital education.
Shigeru Miyagawa, professor of linguistics and the Kochi-Manjiro Professor of Japanese Language and Culture at MIT, has earned a reputation as a leading voice for the use of technology and digital innovation in education. Since the earliest days of the Web, he has worked to realize its potential as a tool for teaching and learning, and he was a member of the faculty committee that recommended the creation of MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) in 2001. He has continued to advocate for the open sharing of educational materials, for which he was honored with the 2012 President’s Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence.
In 2002, Miyagawa and MIT professor of history (now emeritus) John Dower co-founded “Visualizing Cultures,” a groundbreaking program that leverages digital technology to support image-drive research. Most recently, “Visualizing Japan” — a massive open online course (MOOC) inspired by “Visualizing Cultures,” co-taught by Miyagawa, Dower, Harvard University historian Andrew Gordon, and Duke University art historian Gennifer Weisenfeld — has been nominated for the Japan Prize in Education Media. This is a prestigious international prize awarded to educational broadcast and digital media programs selected from around the world.
SHASS Communications spoke recently with Professor Miyagawa about “Visualizing Japan” and his experience with MOOCs.