"Publishing, music, shopping, journalism – all revolutionised by the internet. Next in line? Education. Now US academics are offering world-class tuition – free – to anyone who can log on, anywhere in the world, is this the end of campus life?"
Comment: A long but rich article about xMOOCs. Sebastian Thrun features large in the historical overview, which goes from Udacity to Coursera and edX. It touches upon the Open University and why they are not a viable alternative to MOOCs for many students (with £5000 per year too expensive), indeed why higher education in England with its fees of £9000 a year is giving the competition a field day. For education has become a market, Carole argues, and competition there is. How the MOOC providers would do the accreditation is of course an issue, but the people whom she talked to either are doing MOOCs for the fun of it, personal development etc, or are students who complain about the low quality of what their university offers to them and use the MOOC course as a complement. She concludes saying that "These websites [of MOOCs] are barely months old. They're still figuring out the basics. Universities aren't going anywhere just yet. But who knows what they'll look like in 10 years' time? A decade ago, I thought newspapers would be here for ever. That nothing could replace a book." (peter sloep, @pbsloep)