I received an interesting email from "James in Arizona" today. James offers this comment on online education.
Greetings from Arizona, Mish,
I ran across this website while exploring various online options for my daughter (in high school, but she’s very computer savvy, so I’m looking for options to expand her interests/basis). It is EdX, an online education group started by Harvard and MIT, but other universities are joining.
“I’d rather be lucky than good”-Lefty Gomez
Sometimes, it is easy to spot a lucky guess. When Paul the Octopus, the most famous resident of the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, successfully picked the winner of seven straight FIFA World Cup matches in 2010, few people believed it was due to the cephalopod’s superior football knowledge.
In 2012, Jason Vitug found himself on top of a temple in Myanmar. "I realized I was living a childhood dream," he says of that moment, near the beginning of his year-long, 21-country travel adventure. "And I started wondering why I was the only one there. "
The idea behind offering free MOOCs (massively open online courses) from top universities is a lofty one. They're ideally a way to reach the massive part of the world's population who likely won't ever have a chance to attend a top school, or in many cases, even a bad one.
There's a massive problem in higher education. The number of people qualified to attend the world's best universities who don't get the chance to do so is growing. At the same time, the cost of attending college has risen to the point where people question its value, and student debt is skyrocketing.