Technology…well, which area of human life has it not changed? People
who have no idea of how a mobile phone works use smartphones for
everything ranging from choosing the best weather conditions for
harvesting and finding the nearest market for the grains they have grown
to knowing exactly where their children’s school bus is located at any
point of its journey. Given the multitude of ways in which technology
has pervaded our lives, does it surprise that this tool should also
become a force to reckon with in the education industry?
Education is such a huge and heterogeneous market that trying to make
an estimate of it is something like asking how much cotton the world
grows. One may produce figures, but making sense of these figures
requires some element of discernment. The sheer variety and nature of
educational systems around the world baffle the mind. Given this
humungous diversity of the spread of education globally, it is not
surprising that technology should make sharp inroads into this field.
Enter, the idea of MOOC
The infusion of technology into education has led to the birth of
what is called MOOC -short for Massive Open Online Courses. The name is
pretty much suggestive of what this means. Like every other offshoot of
technology; MOOC too, brings its share of pluses and minuses. But then,
as in the case of most other such developments, its benefits clearly
outweigh its drawbacks. To start on the benefits side, the whole
rigidity surrounding traditional education can be broken with online
education. Governments and private educational institutions can save
massive amounts of money that they put on making education possible, in
the form of buildings, maintenance, expenses on administration, etc.
The biggest thing with MOOC is that reputed universities have jumped
on the bandwagon, which means that someone in a remote village of Africa
can learn a course structured and taught by some University of the
reputation of Yale or Stanford! Of course, we are still not yet there,
but this scenario is a perfect possibility, given the extent to which
technology is penetrating the remotest areas of the world.
One may argue that the discipline and standards associated with the
present system of education may be lacking in online courses. While this
point is very valid, one has to see how this can be overcome. There is
enough reason to believe that the community of educators will join hands
and come up with some kind of a viable solution to this problem at a
not-so-distant point of time in the future.
Well, that brings us to the next question: if one has to take up
online education, what should she look for? Which are the top online
course platforms that offer relevant and high-quality education through
this alternative medium? We have assembled here a small, but very
pertinent list of five amazing e-learning websites that offer valuable
alternative mediums of education:
One wouldn’t be exaggerating if one said that today’s online education
market is synonymous with Udemy. This is an online educational platform
whose name just anyone who has heard of online education is likely to
Simpliv has a lofty goal-that of bringing education to simply anyone
and everyone who wants to learn. Its objective is to remove the elitism
out of education and offer any course that anyone wants to learn in her
areas of interest.
Coursera is another solid name to reckon with in the area of online
education. Its spread of courses is simply amazingly vast. One is not
likely to miss any course on any topic of one’s interest.
Another name for reliable and high-quality online courses, Khan Academy
is known more for the enormous collection of its free courses.
This is one of those rare learning platforms, and is chosen to complete
our list of five amazing e-learning websites that offer valuable
alternative mediums of education simply because it wants to take
education to the most disadvantaged sections of the world’s population.
This aim is certainly laudable, and if it succeeds, this online platform
would have made quite a difference to the world of education.