MOOCs, the most important innovation in education since the printing press, according to M.I.T. President L. Rafael Reif (Reif 2013, 42-43). So what has Dr. Reif done for you lately? Plenty as it turns out.
The first in a series, edX will offer Design and Development of Educational Technology by M.I.T. Professor Eric Klopfer starting on 8 October 2014. Make this your first MOOC; you will never regret it; you will never turn back!
I did three MOOCs this summer, putting in the time, but paying not so much as a dime. I am sold. MOOCs can teach content better than a University lecturer according to a study in 2011 co-authored by the University of British Columbia physics Nobel laureate Carl Wieman (Reif 2013, 42-43).
Reif, L. Rafael. “Online learning will make college cheaper. It will also make it better.” Time Asia, 7 October 2013: 42–43. Print.
EdX now offers High School level MOOCs!
The major MOOCs include edX (not for profit) started by Harvard and M.I.T. and the two for-profit MOOCs started from Stanford University: Coursera, and the more ICT-technology oriented Udacity, a play on the word 'audacity'. The Udacity founder professor Sebastian Thrun takes issue with a university education that only allows a few rich, high achieving students to get in; he hopes to bring high quality education for free to anyone with an interest to learn.
At Udacity a person can learn at their own pace for free, the best way to learn, but it does take time and commitment to fully complete a course. Only one of fourteen people who apply can get into Stanford University, and the cost of a four year degree is $160,000. You can get a certificate from Udacity for completing a course, something that can help you get a job or a better position in your company.
While Udacity leans very strongly to the computer science side of education, a wider range of courses appear in Coursera, also started out of Stanford, and edX (free offerings) which partners MIT with fellow Titan Harvard. The Harvard courses, in fact, are strong in the Humanities, so you will find Homer, Plato and Shakespeare there offered from some very gifted professors.
If you know about MOOCs, move on.
But if you want to learn more, I have added the three introductory videos here that I made for my Knowmia mini-course on learning readiness. Knowmia allows you to put mini-courses, presently in beta, with YouTube videos, test items (that can provide immediate feedback to students), slides and more - a free platform for flipped instruction. Your class signs onto your mini-course with a specific url, and the site generates rich data on student use of the course resources and test results.