Education in this day and age can be very expensive. Not only expensive, but to attend a well respected institution like Harvard or MIT can be a nearly impossible task. There is, however, a solution to this particular issue and it cost you nothing but your time. EdX brings you free education from some of the finest institutions in the US to the internet and the world.
Anant Agaral, founder and president of edX, has created a website educational institution unlike any we have yet seen. They are free, massively open online courses, taught, and designed by some of the finest minds from Harvard, MIT, University of California Berkeley, as well as the University of Texas system. Agaral wants to revolutionize our ability to educate ourselves in this modern era.
EdX has recently partnered with the city of Boston to create BostonX. The city hopes to use this project as a way to allow every citizen access to the free courses offered. The goal is to have access from every library or public space in the city in order to fully embrace and utilize the online educational opportunity.
The drawback to taking online courses, as anyone who has tried can attest, is a combination of personal motivation and isolation. With no class to go to, nor peers to interact with, no professor standing in front of you to inspire and connect with, it can be very difficult to conjure the motivation to complete a course on time. Isolation from the educational environment means that it take better time management skills and created motivation to complete a full course load.
However, with the BostonX project, it is the hope of both the city and edX to foster a community and culture of learning. An environment where you can connect with peers and educators in a meaningful way. It would help in not only motivating someone to take and complete a course, but would provide the community necessary to do it well.
In the grip of the information age and information overload, the structure of a classroom has a high value. With the economy still limping along to recovery, ideas such as ‘free’ and ‘education’ are not just appealing, they are necessary. This one simple idea could very well be the spark that ignites and revolutionizes our culture into a culture of learning. Where anyone with a computer, internet access, and the time could become well educated about anything. Even just being able to go to a public library and use a computer with internet there, one needs only give time to better themselves and better navigate their future.
While the first people to understand the full implications of the opportunity may already be employed, it wont take long for the rest of the country to take notice. Many courses now are aimed at programming, cloud computing, and business in general, but there is no limit to what someone could potentially learn through edX
In order to change a society from the ground up, educate the people. Edx is not only looking to bring free education to the US, but to the entire world. What will a world that has every human being given the opportunity to learn from some of the finest educational institutions look like? Only time will tell.
By Iam Bloom