When it comes to open education, I am somewhat of an incorrigible optimist. I believe knowledge should be free and experts should facilitate this by trickling down their words of wisdom into the minds of those interested.
This is finally happening. The right to quality knowledge shall no longer be hinged on the condition of having a good bank balance, or speaking the ‘right’ language.
The right to quality knowledge, soon, shall be hinged on only having a decent internet connection.
Open source knowledge and learning platforms are phenomenal for a lot of things, but I can’t see them being called an ‘Education’.
They can only be facilitators and helpers in the pursuit of learning. An education is so much more. An education includes learning from others through exchange of dialogue. An education means learning to be humble and courteous in your exchange of ideas. An education, for me, can only be achieved through a physical institution.
So when wonderful initiatives like Coursera, Udactity, The Khan Academy are called the future of education, I have to disagree.
They can be facilitators for learning hard skills, but can hardly match up to the experience of a tangible university full of diverse personalities.
So, if I put on my clairvoyant hat, I feel the résumé of the future would have to be something like this :
It would have cost me another fortune (Like an education at CMU) to have been instructed by Sebastian Thrun! But now it’s really available for free! It’s incredible.