Monday, August 5, 2013

Online learning: Where are the voices from developing countries?

The founder of Udacity, one of the three major initiatives offering MOOCs (massive open online courses), has made the controversial prediction that in 50 years there might only be about 10 universities left in the world. In May 2013, the first MOOC-driven master’s degree program in computer science was announced by Georgia Tech and Udacity.

Anyone in the world can take MOOCs. From my home in India, I completed a free 3-month MOOC taught by professors at Harvard University. This experience led to a series of blog posts and also the realization that there are few voices from the developing world on MOOCs. An article on the World Bank EduTech blog adds support to this view. It’s not just about MOOCs but about ICT in higher education: I don’t see any blogs from developing countries in the top 50 higher education technology blogs.

I don't think ICT in higher education has to cost a lot of money. Based on my experience creating and teaching online courses on AuthorAID Moodle, I'm convinced that ICT can be hugely beneficial in a higher education context in developing countries, even under a tight budget.

I hope to find more voices from the developing world on learning and teaching online. For the time being, I'm happy to see a blog post on MOOCs from a Nigerian researcher. (Incidentally, she was one of the participants in a recent AuthorAID online course.)

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