Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Higher Education, 2013

Growing up in Switzerland and Italy, there has never been much of a doubt that I would complete my education at a higher education institution - and so did I, by chosing to read Architecture at the Swiss Institute of Technology in Lausanne. Now that I write this, I wonder if one is really suppose to read Architecture, or if a better word would be perhaps "design"?
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After those years and a diploma, I moved out of the art-y side of the world, and wholeheartedly embraced IT, working with ERP providers and multiple customers; over the years, I've never wanted to go back to school for an MBA, and certainly not a second degree.

Enter the 2010s, and MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses). I started investigating the option mostly professionally, looking at potential points of sync betweet Human Resources needing to store qualifications and to deliver education, but I have quickly become enamored with the POSSIBILITIES that this offers. Nobody keeps tabs if you don't complete something, so it makes sense to try all you are curious about, and to drop the stuff that is not everything you dream of.

Some of my favorites:

Coursera is definitely the trailblazer, with a large variety of courses to choose from, many great colleges and university and a structured approach. Its purpose is as much to entertain as it is to educate, so you will find courses on varied topics. You will find a similar structure in most courses, although the personality of the professor and the choices (and budget) of the academic institution transpire; some will just propose a quick quiz/check point, other will instead propose to write papers, to answer open-ended questions, and more.

EdX has enlisted some of the best known colleges for what they can offer best, with a very academic approach. Very interesting, perhaps a little less accessible sometimes as specific terminologies and concepts are expected to be already acquired.

Iversity is the European answer to MOOC. Its selection is still relatively small, but it is accelerating tremendously, and many courses are ready to start in 2014, with more choices daily. Definitely a selective approach, it seeks to make high ed available, but is not trying to be amusing or entertaining...

Have you tried to leverage these possibilities, and if you have, what are your favorite courses, what did you learn that was of most value to you? Leave your notes: like reading a good book, it is more fun if you share, and many courses are proposed several times.