This will definitely disrupt the education system as we know it, and it’s for the better. It’s an essential and overdue step towards education for all and an even playing field. Coursera is delivering high-quality online courses from top universities, for free, and for everyone. The best schools will educate not thousands, but millions of students.
The class structure is “at your own pace” with time commitments ranging from 2-20+ hours per week. Courses range from economics to poetry to programming and everything between. There are peer-reviewed tests, rigorous assignments and quantifiable milestones.
Pedro, a friend of mine, shared this website with me as he signed up for his first class. A day later he was joined by 20,000 additional students from around the world, followed by a flurry of study-group invitations (virtual and in-person), forums, and even LinkedIn invitations. Talk about a networking opportunity.
Ezra spoke of the dissemination of information in an earlier post. Where wikipedia was filling the void for synopses of topics, these courses each provide a full-blown nosedive into cutting-edge subjects, with content vetted by the best universities in the world. They utilize social and interactive technology to make the learning experience even more customized and accessible than ever. And, in tune with Ezra’s post, these lessons will immortalize great professors. Enabling great thinkers to teach forever was last done by the textbook. This is a new era of scholastic publishing.
Just think – what would change if everyone in the world had this kind of education? Time to get learning…