In services like edx real time info is needed. Let’s discuss with reference to edx for better understanding of the need of real time info.
The underground may house the majority of our wires but we, as consumers, have adopted the wireless lifestyle and there is no turning back. Every day we we’re introduced technology which requires an “always-on” connection to fully function which means a sudden drop in Internet connection can lead to massive frustration and complete lock-out from our access to the service.
One of these such service which have seen a dramatic rise in interest is the online educational service called edX which presents courses offered by MIT, Harvard, Berkley, and other top-notch institutions.
The Acceptance of MOOCs
MOOC is a shortened term for “Massive Open Online Course”; they are changing the way that we learn as a society and have placed a great deal of pressure on the traditional educational system to update or find itself left in the past.
MOOCs generally do not offer accredited courses but are present to provide anyone with an online connection the ability to learn from some of the best and brightest educators in the system.
The appeal and acceptance of MOOCs can find its attribution to our modern society which uses the Web for every facet of our daily lives; we have turned the Internet into one massive, global resource populated by our ideas, thoughts, and experiences, and now we have “voted” that we desire our education to find its way on our mobile devices and desktop computers.
The Global Offering of edX
There are dozens of websites and services vying for top placement in this category of learning but edX is taking the charge as it is the brainchild of Harvard and MIT.
The system is built upon the following elements:
- Self-paced learning
- Online discussion groups
- Wiki-based collaboration
Courses offered will reward a student with a certificate of completion and the system covers a wide gamut of offerings, including:
- Artificial intelligence
- Circuits and Electronics
- Software as a Service
- Computer Science and Programming
At this time the current selection of courses aren’t nearly as expansive as those you’d find on other educational websites like Udemy but it’s the educators conducting the courses that make edX truly remarkable for what it has to offer.
As noted, courses do not offer accreditation toward a degree but having been free it’s a great alternative for those that wish to learn from the brightest minds in the industries that can’t afford to attend one of the Ivy League schools. Those that follow and complete the course will find themselves prepared if they wish to pursue the topic on a local level within their budget.
The major drawback, though, stems from the fact that courses are meant to be experienced in real-time throughout the allotted time. Those registering at a later date will miss out on important discussions at the time a topic is covered though it’s completely possible to work through the course, from the beginning, and participate with fellow students in new discussions and wiki entries.
Overall, edX brings a very refreshing approach to MOOCs due to the support offered by teachers in the major institutions, flexible platform, and focus on in-demand topics. The service has some time to go before it can reach the same offering by other established online course websites but it’s getting there.
The Downside of MOOCs
Overall, there are two downsides to relying on online education:
- It’s easy to become distracted
- Lack of stable Internet connection will block your access
Individuals must be self-motivated if they wish to complete the courses offered by MOOCs. Younger generations have a very quick attention span due to the seemingly endless distractions between their computer, cell phone, video game systems, T.V., and more. Even so, older generations may have many prior engagements to attend in their work/life balance. These elements prevent many individuals from completing the courses offered by MOOCs which see a drastic drop-out rate beyond the first few weeks.
Likewise, the only way MOOCs, like edX, can become commonplace is if we have a stable, reliable Internet connection. Sudden drops and long periods of disconnect will paralyze the students ability to learn using these online systems.
Luckily, we have new technologies that allow for an always-on connection, such as the services provided by clear wireless internet, which pushes 4G cross-country connectivity. A nominal price for the 4G home or mobile connection, along with smartphone apps, can finally allow MOOCs to make a break and challenge the traditional system.
With edX (and others) are leading the way, the future is bright for our modern education.