A Vision of Free Online Education

The University of Maine policy of not calculating transfer credits into cumulative GPA scores has provided me with a frightening amount of free time during my stay in the South. Years of obsessive RPG playing has resulted in a cumpulsion to constantly engage in activites that provide experience points. Free online classes were my first thought.

I signed up for Gamification, Introduction to Mathematical Thinking, Introduction to Operations Management and Principles of Economics for Scientists at Coursera. I am so excited to take these classes and I am currently about to burst with creative energy from my 2 med. Starbucks coffees so I’m going to provide even more un-solicited thoughts on a yet another subject in which I am highly unqualified. So what is my vision for open-source online education? Glad you asked…

Sundance should collaborate with artists for a documentary class. At UMaine I took the Camden International Film Festival class. Six Saturdays, a weekend in Camden watching documentaries, and a project of your own and I gained a very high level understanding of an amazing art. Any big or small film festival could provide the network to make a great online class.

Starbucks should do a case study on their business. If they spent a million on a film crew and paying a rep to head the class, they would make that money back by people studdying their course in their stores alone. BMW could show the engineering behind their vehichles and inspire their future employees at the same time.

Science Discussions – Universities take most of the fun out of science and math education. There just isn’t enough time time to watch Neil Degrasse Tyson in class and nobody would want to pay for that anyways. However, there is a huge artistic-thinking benefit to crazy sci-fi discussions and any nerd would jump at the chance to interact with some of the more well spoken scientists even out of a sea of thousands.

Professional Development – I read some truly amazing and inspiring blogs from secondary education physics and math teachers. I have no doubt that I learned more about teaching physics through their entries than I did from 12 credits of education classes in college. I’m sure there are plenty of great educators that would happily collaborate to create a summer class on a high-level topic.

My coffee is wearing off and I want to post this before I second-guess myself so thats it for now. Do I seem unreasonable?

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One Response to A Vision of Free Online Education

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