So, one day in April, I was surfing Coursera, which is one of my most favorite websites ever, and, suddenly, a brilliant title caught my eye: "Beyond Silicon Valley: Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies."
It's clear that this nation faces a student debt crisis. There's been a lot of buzz over Starbucks' recent announcement that it would pay the full cost of tuition at Arizona State University's online program for its employees' junior and senior years.
To survive in today's workplace, students need a unique skill set that oftentimes can't be acquired in a traditional, brick and mortar classroom. For many, online education is becoming the most affordable and convenient alternative.
Whether it's to make money, pursue a second (or third!) career or simply for your own personal entertainment, don't let the voices inside your head convince you that you can't try to learn and apply a new skill.
As long as educators remember that students are flesh-and-blood individuals with unique needs and aspirations, they can animate the best elements of modern technology with the human-to-human connections that have sustained education for thousands of years.
I decided to go back to school this year, although rather than travel the well-trodden path of specialization by obtaining a graduate degree, I decided it was time to re-do my undergraduate BA, this time taking all the courses I never got around to the first time around.
With online learning making the educational process more time-manageable, more graduates are in a better position to complete their degrees and find employment in their desired industries. And there is no better example of this occurring than in telecommunications.
I believe that online learning has the potential to revolutionize higher education. Students will be able to learn at their own pace and problems as simple as finding a place to park on campus will be eliminated.
As access to online educational opportunities increases, is there an optimal balance to strike with traditional classroom practices? The answer, similar to the forces driving the question, relates to experimenting with approaches that depart from the usual instructional routine.
MOOCs pose some complex questions: What MOOC credits are transferable? From which other institutions will we accept them? How and by whom will such courses be evaluated for equivalency and quality with existing courses and degree requirements?
Let's be clear that the iconic ivy covered college campus has its place. But they do not work for everyone. More and more learners are opting for online study. They need the flexibility and the ability to learn -- if not at one's own pace -- then in one's own space.
Having roiled the music recording and newspaper industries, the Internet is now churning through universities and colleges. Much media attention has been paid to MOOCs, where universities post course material online to be freely consumed by tens or even hundreds of thousands of citizens.