It’s a great day to be an educator! The emergence of MOOCs, coupled with advances in low cost LMS platforms, and the proliferation of internet access means that anyone, can teach anything, to almost anybody! Throughout the ages, the masses were taught by evangelists and philosophers and craftsmen. Students apprenticed and learned a trade. Education was never meant to be only for the elite and the wealthy, and yet at some point, something went terribly wrong.
Academe is recent times has been disastrous. Tenured professors with no incentive to innovate, colleges with 15% on-time graduation rates, and burdensome regulations intended to kill private-sector options. Student debt is out of control and states are out of money.
Enter the rise of the mind! A throwback to ancient times when educators just wanted to teach. And people other than traditional educators are getting into the action. Udemy enables anybody to set-up and teach classes, on any subject, online. Udacity engages individual professors to teach courses that are not affiliated with a university online. edX plans on providing free access to its platform so that anybody can construct and teach a MOOC.
The possibilities are limited only by our mind and our imagination. The kinks still need to be worked out. Questions about evidencing quality, verifying student credentials, transferability of credit, and accreditability of providers are important issues to resolve. We have great minds interested in advancing the open education concept so I am confident they will be able to overcome.