Regina Saphier: Students! Ignore education policies and face the MOOCs!

Regina Saphier: Students! Ignore education policies and face the MOOCs!

Students of most countries! Embrace MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and ignore your country’s education policies, unless you live in Finland.

People in the business of education are already being heavily challenged by MOOCs all over the world. For example in Hungary, I am really just amused by the politicized fighting about what should be the primary foreign language, English, or the Austro-Hungarian classic, the German language. And should all people go to university or not, and until when vocational education should be provided, and how long students would need to stay in school, 16 or 18, and what should people learn at university, and who should get access to higher education and who should not, and how much people should pay for school, and should the local or the national government run the schools. Blah blah blah…

Totally outdated ideas being debated by the leading party and the opposition and not one word mentioned regarding MOOCs, freedom of quality education online, English being the primary language of the free quality (higher) education movement globally (so, learn English first), translation being a possibility for courses into multiple languages, and no need for so many buildings, entry exams  and so much rigid bureaucracy when learning happens online, independently, internationally and often in an interdisciplinary context now. Note: Harvard is financially more able as a single research institution compared to the research investment capacity by Hungary as a nation. I wrote about that on another blog of mine years ago. So, the key issue today: the so called “leaders” in Hungary are not even aware of what they should be talking about. We have “misleaders”… left and right.

It appears to me that the conservative elite groups (and even the liberals) in this country are lacking an update in global education reality mostly because they made sure my internationally educated and independent kind is mostly forced out of power. (Thank you, I am not interested in their corrupt ways.) Instead of fighting “the state of things” as I used to, I am now making sure I am up to date and am internationally integrated on a daily basis intellectually, and wait until “the status quo” eats itself up on its own from the inside out. I am now perfectly used to being 5-10 years ahead all the time and am wise enough to wait until there is a critical mass locally. (I might know that from my blog stats for example. As of yet, more people read my blogs internationally, many from the US, UK, Canada and India … from 81 countries right now, and when the locals in Hungary recognize the importance of the MOOC movement, my local reader stats might jump up. For that: more people here need to speak, write, read and understand English well first. Right now six times more people read my Coursera blog in the US, compared to Hungary.)

As the newspaper business collapsed in print, so will education become a risky business for many who are unable to change and adapt. I am not worried about myself. The most worried should be the most rigid and most arrogant in education. And we have many of those kinds of people in education in Hungary because our system was built on the Prussian model, where the professor is a kind of preacher, while the student is the passive listener. This is a system that easily demolishes itself in the present international educational environment of full frontal innovation and democratization. It is my pleasure to witness the devolution of traditional education.

If you are a youngster being worried about your educational future and university entry in Hungary right now (or in any country for that matter), stop worrying and start improving your English, and be digitally fluent. Embrace the MOOC phenomenon. Go and explore the free education opportunities and grow. Go for Coursera’s Signature Track option for example (your identity will be validated by ProctorU and when you complete a free course and take the exam successfully, you get a Verified Certificate for a small fee, and possibly actual credit that you can use internationally at more and more schools), accumulate knowledge via MOOC courses, network in the groups of these courses, and make friends internationally. Introduce your friends and family to the MOOCs. Look beyond the borders, even if you do not wish to move abroad. And with this accumulated knowledge and your new extended global network, moving abroad will be much easier in your future.

If you are worried about your education, you still have the wrong attitudes shaped by your immediate community, so change them (all three: your education, your attitudes and your community), and look into the right direction. And start as early as you can. If you are 12 or 22, 42 or 82, no difference, MOOCs are able to serve you if you are willing to learn. In the digital future your lifetime educational efforts will be counted in one place, there are experiments for jail-breaking the transcript. In the future you will be able to learn things when you are ready, no matter how old you are. Be ready to participate in the MOOC revolution, no matter what you would like to study. Start NOW!

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4 Responses to “Regina Saphier: Students! Ignore education policies and face the MOOCs!”
  1. Sarah Siegel says:

    Have you seen: Revolution Hits the Universities ?

    • Regina says:

      I have not seen this one, but now that you sent me the link, I read it. Good to know that many people think the MOOC is a good thing. 🙂 Thanks for the link!

    • Regina says:

      Have you seen this? “DAVOS, Switzerland — She may not have been the youngest speaker ever at the World Economic Forum in Davos, but Khadija Niazi, 12, was certainly captivating.

      Hundreds of the conference’s well-heeled attendees listened intently as Ms. Niazi, of Lahore, Pakistan, described her experience with massive open online courses, known as MOOCs, that are spreading rapidly around the globe.

      MOOCs are vastly extending the reach of professors at some of the world’s best universities, particularly at Stanford, Harvard, M.I.T., Yale, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania and Duke.

      Ms. Niazi has been taking courses, free so far, from Udacity and Coursera, two of the earliest providers of this new form of instruction. Her latest enthusiasm is for astrobiology, because she is fascinated by U.F.O.’s and wants to become a physicist. ”

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