MOOC 1, University 0.

I must be stupid. I have two degrees, yet I think education is completely overrated. I vowed after completing my Masters, ‘that’s it with studying!’ As my kids enter formal schooling, I am moving the other way – less structure, less rote, fewer rules of engagement, more serendipity, less linear, more networked, more curiosity, less right and wrong, more maybe and let’s see and who knows?

The one-person university Maria Popova records Frank Lloyd Wright’s lament: 

“The present education system is the trampling of the herd.”

Brain Pickings, she continued,

“became the record of my alternative learning, of that cross-disciplinary curiosity that took me from art to psychology to history to science, by way of the myriad pieces of knowledge I discovered — and connected — on my own.”

Yeah, what she said. University of Life, and all that.

Yet, here I am today, the proud possessor of a certificate from the Santa Fe Institute having completed a course that is online, open, and massive! MOOC!


I wanted to see if MOOCs were really an invitation to the future of education, and I chose a course that is edge work – on complexity.

Self-directed, light and rich in content, interactive with smart people sharing their knowledge in conversation, quizzes that engage and invite you in.  The content modules are random and stand alone; yet networked and overlaid.

The process was unstuffy, there was a clear sense of co-creation among faculty and with the student body (though I crammed the course and did not participate in forums). It felt quite liberating, like the course was mine alone. I am tempted to go back for more. MOOCs wins the day.

←This Much (MOOC) We Know.→

2 thoughts on “MOOC 1, University 0.

    1. Content was great – real hand-holding through some complex(!) topics. It was like revisiting school but made interesting.

      the world is so complex that we have to find weird and wonderful ways to subvert it and manage ourselves – the course illuminated a lot.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s