In my opinion, education is the single most important method we can use to change the world. The desire to learn and grow is what will drive our society forward–in the arts, in the sciences, in society.
I think knowledge is so important to the advancement of our society. I believe that everyone has the potential to become an expert in a subject; once you figure out what that subject is, you have the power to learn as much as you can–to become the specialist of that area and revolutionize the field.
Given this, education also works as a business. College is expensive, and sometimes, finances prohibit a student’s acquisition of knowledge. I know I’m taking the typical college student approach, but I don’t think that money should ever prevent a student from learning–I think that interest should drive education.
So this is where open coursework comes into play.
I discovered the concept while I was interning. I think I found my first class on iTunesU, and I finished it, How to Think Like a Psychologist, within 3 days. Soon, I discovered MITOpenCourseWare, and I took pharmacology classes when I came home from work. I think this is a revolutionary educational concept because all of the necessary materials are so easy to access! All you need is a computer, wifi, and a yearn for knowledge.
Sure, completing an open course isn’t ultimately contributing to a degree. However, if you find that you don’t understand a concept as well as you should for your job, or you’re struggling in a class, this method can heartily supplement the confused crevices of your brain.
Ultimately, this is one of the coolest educational innovations I’ve seen in a while. From my research, you can find a course online on nearly any subject from about 1.2 billion universities. If you’re interested, the next step is figuring out what you want to learn about.