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This push to solve the university's funding problems through online education needs to be put in a broader context. Recently we have witnessed many of the most elite universities in the United States jumping onto the MOOC (massive open online courses) bandwagon, and we need to ask, why are they doing this? After all, schools like Stanford, MIT, and Harvard are defined by their selectivity and high costs, and so it seems strange that they would want to promote a form of education that is open to the masses for little if any cost. Perhaps, these institutions just feel that more people in the world should be exposed to their expert knowledge, or maybe they are following the new media business model of built it, let them use it, and then charge them once they become hooked.
MOOCs," an acronym for "massive open online courses," denotes an important, possibly a revolutionary, development ineducation. These courses are online, free of charge, open to anyone in the world who has a laptop and an Internet connection, and offered by entities with strange names such as coursera, codeacademy, edX, khanacademy, and udacity. The offerors are mainly university consortia or university-affiliated. Moreover, and critically, the universities are elite universities like Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, and Columbia. Not that online education is new; there are adult-education online courses such as are sold by The Teaching Company; there are even online college degree programs,...
The Transnational Institute (TNI), in cooperation with the Brazilian research centre CIDADE and the Latin American Programme for Distance Education in Social Sciences (PLED) is offering a web-based course on Participatory Democracy, Urban Management and Crisis Capitalism. The course will begin on 10 September 2012 and will comprise a series of twelve weekly sessions. We
Ivy walls lower with free online classes from Coursera and edX (via The Christian Science Monitor) As the school year revs up, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Anant Agarwal looks forward to teaching his most popular class. Last semester, Circuits and Electronics welcomed in 154,000 students - 35 times as many as the entire undergraduate enrollment at MIT. The class kicked off MIT [Man opening laptop via Sutterstock]
When some of the world's most prestigious universities - including Harvard and MIT in their edX venture or Stanford and Princeton through Coursera - start putting courses online for free, it tells you
An Explainer PostThere's an article in this month's Wired Magazine about Khan Academy. The headline speaks volumes --