Friday, August 12, 2011

How about if the university comes to us? For free?

In Fall 2011, The Floating University will launch its first course, Great Big Ideas, a survey of fourteen major fields delivered by one of its leading minds. Each hour-long lecture explores the keys questions in a field, lays out the methods for answering them and makes a case for the relevance to the student and the significance to humanity. As a whole, the course serves as an introduction to knowledge and a primer in the diverse modes of thinking necessary for success in the 21st Century.
Three colleges, Harvard, Yale and Bard, will offer the course for credit this Fall, with distinguished members of their faculties leading the discussions on campus based on video lectures, readings and related content delivered through The Floating University's e-learning platform. At the same time, portions of the course will be made freely available to the general public and interested life-long learners can subscribe for access to the full Web offering."

"The breadth of content and openness of the class is enough to make any online education junkie salivate. The class’s RSS feeds host audio-recorded lectures, class assignments and special discussions. Worth’s Fall course attracted over 10,000 visitors to its website from 1,632 cities in 107 countries and the Winter course is available as an iPhone App. Lectures from the course have been downloaded thousands of times on iTunes."

  I certainly hope this is the wave of the future, where our intellectual resources are available to everyone.  Of course, I got my 2 degrees the old-fashioned way, by attending classes and workshops.  But for any time and any way educational data can be made more accessible, I'm for it.

Update: Stanford kicks in:

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