Sometimes it’s useful to take an idea to its extremes and see where you arrive at. With MOOCs you arrive at a truly wonderful place, filled with exciting possibilities for humankind.
MOOCs are free courses, taught online to a large number of students at the same time. This is the bleeding edge of education. Think tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of students all taking the same course at the same time. MOOCs have been predicted for quite some time with the visionary architect Buckminster Fuller predicting large scale educational technology back in 1961.
If you’re not familiar with MOOCs (massive open online courses) then I encourage you to spend some time looking at the course sites listed at the end of this post. Be warned that you’ll probably find at least one course that you want to enroll in straight away!
One of the earliest MOOCs was run by Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson at the School of Thinking and this continues to be a course that I highly recommend to everyone. MOOCs have expanded to the point now where most of the major universities around the world, including the likes of Harvard, Stanford etc, are now running courses. And the technology platforms are evolving rapidly to incorporate the collective learning gained from successive courses.
The Big (Exciting) Idea
What really excites me, other than the opportunity to take so many interesting courses myself, is the possibility this represents for humankind and the sheer magnitude of the impact this could have on the planet.
The idea is simply this. Imagine if you could take the best expert in every field, the Einsteins, Da Vinci’s, Gates and Jobs of each era, and have them teach the entire world, for free. Imagine if every person could learn from the very best experts in any and every field. The impact and exponential effects of such a system are mind-boggling and this could turbo-charge breakthroughs in much-needed areas including sustainability, medicine and poverty eradication.
So I encourage you to check out these courses, support them and pass them on to your friends and colleagues. My feeling is that this is just the beginning and to borrow that old catch phrase; we ain’t seen nothing yet.
Lear more about MOOCs