Unglamorized kind of announcements such as the forming of edX, partnership of Harvard and MIT which strives to form superb online education platform, might push the civilizations around the world one step further. Through edX, Harvard and MIT will provide free online courses, but these online courses will not be construed to be different than offline courses. According to Technologyreview.com’s Harvard and MIT Offer Online Education for Free article, students who take courses through edX will get certificates of mastery for their efforts.
In my opinion, technological advancements of today such as the Internet has forced well known educational institutions come to grip with their outdated education models. If they fail to reform their traditional education models, eventually the technological advancements that are inherently carrying high potential of pushing the world civilizations forward such as the spreading of education through the Internet will gradually overtake the prestige role of passing the knowledge from traditional education institutions that we are so highly praised in the past and now. To stay relevant and continually promoting their highly regard brands of education, traditional education institutions such as Harvard and MIT probably know that they have to take the early initiative in bringing education to the mass, using the best transformative, technological education-advancements, otherwise they will appear to be outdated, lacked of insight and transformation.
Furthermore, I think the experimentation of edX will eventually allow many more education institutions to perfect their art of spreading the knowledge through the use of transformative, technological education-advancements. Eventually, education institutions will have an effective online education platform that might be profitable to them in an enormous scale, a scale which they probably have never had witnessed before. It’s to be naive to think that knowledge should be free, because the truth often tells us that it isn’t so. Of course, we love the idea of superb knowledge and all types of knowledge should be free, but someone will always place a price tag on just about anything. So, edX is free for now as an experimentation, but will it be free tomorrow? Nonetheless, to be fair, I’ve to say education institutions need money to support their existences, therefore it’s understandable that one day their altruistic online education models will forgo the free online courses.
In conclusion, edX and similar transformative education initiatives will push world civilizations forward, and one day, far into the future, people will look back and say that today efforts might have similar effects to what had contributed to the ages of enlightenment. Noticing how I had used ages of enlightenment in plural form? Well, I think in the past, there probably had been many ages of enlightenment, but we are now only remembering the most recent one.
Afterthought: Come to think of spreading the knowledge through the Internet, maybe one day we will see the Internet as a reference point of knowledge, but local communities will form their unique education groups that encourage students of the world to meet up and learn from the materials that made readily available from the Internet (of course through highly reputable online education platforms such as edX). Perhaps, one day classrooms will not be traditionally concentrated in particular cities, but local communities will be the place to go to share knowledge. Still, highly praised and organized education institutions’ campuses will still forever be the places to get even more serious in learning.
- Harvard & MIT Announce EdX, a Disruptive Joint Venture That Will Offer Free Online Courses (bostinno.com)
- Harvard and MIT Launch $60M Nonprofit Online EdX Platform (allthingsd.com)
- Harvard and MIT Offer Online Education for Free (technologyreview.com)
- Harvard, MIT to announce online learning project (boston.com)
- Harvard, MIT to announce online learning project (bostonherald.com)
- MIT and others launch a tech education revolution (revolutioninlearning.wordpress.com)
- MIT to open up some courses to global audience — free, online (zdnet.com)
- Course Closing Activities (lynnmunoz.me)
- Free Online Courses From Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT) for Students All over the World (chennaifocus.wordpress.com)
- MITx Could Revolutionize Higher Education (antiworldnews.wordpress.com)