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MOOC - Massive Open Online Courses

I have been tracking MOOCs for the past 6 months or so. It's a fascinating space that is basically taking education that you would not have had access to other than through a college or university, and providing it to anyone through an online course. The best known players today in this space are companies like Coursera, edX, Udacity and udemy.

Personally I am most impressed with Coursera due to the high quality of course materials, professors, exercises, assignments and evaluations. My son (13) and I are taking an intro class to Python - there were 30,000 people registered initially. Makes you realize what the demand is for this type of education. The class is definitely challenging, definitely a "university level" class - but fun at the same time.

I am also interested in watching companies like Udemy which are creating an online marketplace that anyone can leverage to share/sell their knowledge. These companies are kind of the iTunes App Store of education. Stay tuned to see who takes the lead and then watch for the consolidation to occur.

The most exciting changes that we are likely to see in the future are:
1) The ability for world-class teacher to make a much bigger impact on a broader swath of people. This has been referred to as the "Rise of the Rock Star Teacher." How awesome will it be to see our best teachers highly compensated for their excellence?

2) Colleges and universities will recognize these online courses and allow students to use these courses as credits towards their degrees.

My best advice is to take a look at the course catalogs for these MOOCs and even try out a class. You are likely to have an amazingly good experience.



  1. I agree with you, Brett-- it is indeed an emerging space that's going to change the dynamics beyond boundaries. Exorbitant education cost in the era of information is somewhat obscene. In fact, I had written to edX for offering courses beyond technology, e.g. economics that my 16-year daughter is interested in pursuing. I had also exchanged emails with another MOOC institute requesting to consider a blended program of 2-years worth credits online and 2-years on-campus for their undergrad programs.

    If internet managed to create somewhat of a 'flat' world, Mook will revolutionize and enable education reach to those who have talent but no means(which is a larger portion of the universe).

    We are in for good time ahead, I believe...

    1. Chetana, yours is a real-life example of why I believe MOOCs will slowly but surely gain traction. The cost of education is tremendous and out of reach for many people in it's current state. I hate to say it but education may become an opportunity for only the super wealthy if tuition costs continue to rise.
      It's a good sign that some of the best US universities seem to be embracing online education as seen on Coursera. Hopefully competition will either slow down or reduce our educational costs.


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