I just started my second Coursera class. This time I’m taking a Philosophy MOOC called The Modern & The Postmodern taught by Michael S. Roth from Wesleyan University. It just started this week and its not too late to enroll, so you should join me!
MOOC- (Massive Open Online Course) an online course aiming at large-scale participation and open access via the web.
After graduating from my MLIS program last May the most peculiar thing happened to me. Despite my elation over the newfound free time I had, by mid-June I actually started to miss school. Not so much the deadlines and papers, but more the experience of digging into a topic, discovering new ideas, listening to the intellectuals, and focusing on something that creates a genuine sense of self-fulfillment. Around this time I started hearing about Coursera. It was free education, so I decided to investigate.
At the time the offerings were only a fraction of what is available now (pretty astounding considering this wasn’t even a year ago), but I thought the platform was very well-designed compared to other online education environments, such as Moodle. Eventually I found Internet History, Technology, and Security, a course taught by Charles Severance (aka Dr. Chuck) through the University of Michigan. I enrolled because the class looked easy enough, sounded interesting, and seemed like information that might even help me professionally.
Taking a Coursera course on the history of the Internet was a great experience and I cannot recommend it highly enough. For someone like myself, the Coursera MOOC was the perfect solution. It gave me all I was looking for in school and further education, but since I wasn’t in need of any accreditation or grade I could freely participate as much or as little as I wanted. If I didn’t feel like doing the writing assignment, no harm done. If I missed a week’s lectures, not a problem.
Its hard to even comprehend how much this could transform our culture’s views on schooling and what it even means to be “educated.” Those with even a speck of curiosity on a subject can learn from the brightest in the field, for free. Enlightenment is yours for the taking- debt free. For those that value access to education for all, this is truly an exciting time to be alive.