These days you can find just about anything on the Internet for free – education included.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are popping up everywhere, with schools like Stanford and MIT offering free, online lectures from real courses. Then there is Coursera, a learning website offering hundreds of classes on myriad topics ranging from genetics to computer programming at no cost.
Coursera’s courses also come from real classrooms. The website has partnered with more than 100 different schools (Duke, Johns Hopkins and Columbia to name a few), to share their courses with the general public. Coursera, along with other MOOC’s, wants to connect professors with students from all over the world, giving everyone the chance to personalize their educational choices.
“We envision a future where everyone has access to a world-class education that has so far been available to a select few,” says Coursera. “We aim to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.”
Students who complete courses are awarded a Certificate of Completion that is signed by the professor and honored by both Coursera and the learning institution.
Udacity, which has both free and paid options, is a work-based MOOC where students work on actual projects put together by professionals from Google, Intuit and others, giving hands-on experience in technology and science.
The open course community continues to grow as more students are turning to the Internet for their education. For more information on Coursera and other MOOCs, check out http://www.mooc-list.com/.