Coursera announced its entrance into the Brazilian / Portuguese MOOC market through partnerships with the University of São Paulo (USP), the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), the Lemann Foundation and the web portal R7.
Brazil represents Coursera’s fifth largest user base behind the US, India, China and UK.
Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about the MOOC movement (and hype) finally reaching India and the country’s first effort to bring some of its higher education online.
At the time the three Computer Science MOOCs were still at planning stage, so let’s take a look at what has happened within the last year and the challenges India is facing.
Turkcell, Turkey’s leading mobile communications provider, has formed a partnership with Coursera.
Under the agreement Turkcell created a Turkish user interface for Coursera’s website and will work together with Coursera’s current partner Koc University to subtitle existing courses and create new courses in Turkish through Turkcell Akademi.
Coursera announced today that it has restored access to the majority of its courses for Iranian students after working closely together with the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.
The General License G now states that US institutions may offer undergraduate-level online courses in the humanities, social sciences, law or business to students in Iran. The sanctions still prohibit the offering of courses that deal with advanced STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
Editor’s Note: This post has first been published on edcetera – straight talk on edtech
With the recent developments in the MOOC vertical one might wonder if edX is essentially the last MOOC standing. As many pointed out over the past months, the O in MOOC standing for “Open” has become increasingly meaningless.
Besides adding more and more paid features to the platforms, MOOC students from certain countries got banned from participating in the courses as their home countries are under US trade sanctions. And while edX is also looking for ways to monetize the platform and reach a state of self-sustainability, one major difference remains: it is a non-profit.
To get you up to speed for the week ahead, we serve you a Monday Ristretto here on EDUKWEST by picking the most important reads from the past week, putting them in a grinder and extracting the essential information for a short and punchy brew.
As every week, we’ve got three shots for you. Larry Page blames the education system for a risk averse mindset. Andrew Ng leaves his day-to-day role at Coursera to become Chief Scientist at Baidu. Google acquires Word Lens, one more part toward a Star Trek universal communicator.
There have been rumors for a while but now it is official: Andrew Ng will be leaving his day-to-day role at Coursera by the end of this month. Ng announced the decision on the Coursera blog and also reveals his next job: Chief Scientist at Baidu.
Ng will remain chairman of the board at Coursera.
Editor’s Note: This post has first been published on edcetera -straight talk on edtech.
Way back in the days, in August 2009 to be precise, I hosted a webinar series called the E-Teachers Conference. Around that time crowdsourcing became quite a popular topic among education startup people, especially in the language learning space. The reasoning behind that trend essentially was: if Wikipedia can do it, so can we.
Most notably Livemocha, which used to be the leader of the pack at that time, crowdsourced nearly all of its freely accessible language courses from its global community. While this enabled Livemocha to add new language options at a rapid pace, it also showed the flaws of such an approach: the localizations were mediocre at best.
Editor’s Note: This post has first been published on edcetera – straight talk on edtech.
How can you generate revenue when you don’t charge at the entrance? Charge people when they want to go out. This seems to be the business model that MOOC providers are headed for if you take a look at the recent developments.
Though many purists claim that the “O” in MOOC which stands for open has progressively become meaningless, people can still take part in the vast majority of MOOCs, if they happen to be in countries that are not under US trade sanctions, of course. And this is a huge shift away from the classic academic model that tends to create the first barrier of entrance right at the start. On the one hand, students either need to have the required grades and qualifications, and parents, on the other hand, need to have sufficient income to pay for their kids’ tuition. I won’t go into the whole student loan crisis here, a very lucrative market for startups, by the way.
Taking a MOOC (almost) anyone from (almost) anywhere in the world who has a (sufficient) Internet connection can learn from the best professors of the most renown universities. And this is a problem as with no artificial limitation of access the number of highly educated individuals goes up which means the perceived value of a degree goes down. If everyone in your family holds an MBA or PhD it is hard to brag about it.
In this week’s Sunday Review we learn that experience without humility is not very helpful (when it comes to leading Coursera), that you can earn a MBA without spending a single dollar for tuition, that the SAT is useless, that school children in Ireland code 3D worlds and use the Oculus Rift, that you should not listen to music when you learn and much more.
And Happy Easter from the EDUKWEST team!