We have some of this in healthcare too, some funded by the stimulus and this looks to be the way of the future for at least part of a college education.  I say part because to do an entire 4 year curriculum online with no other human intervention would be insane, but who knows it might get to that some day, but I don’t think so as you would have folks that may have all the intellect but know zap about how to work with other people.  Just social networks kind of give us a hint of that today as a matter of fact.  

Free Online Course Available for Health IT Certification – EHR, HIE, PHRs and HIT

Nurses Enrolling in Online Computer Courses With Learning Electronic Medical Records in Maine–Stimulus Money At Work For Healthcare IT

Stanford was the first one out of the barrel last year with online classes.  This also opens the doors for anyone in other countries to participate and the only requirement that I see here is “English”.   I guess if you don’t get that, there are translators from Google and Microsoft that might help you out too online.  Perhaps this will in time help cut down on the cost of a higher education as well.  BD

Harvard has joined with MIT to deliver courses over the Internet, for free, to anyone in the world. The new joint venture, called edx, builds upon MIT’s existing online learning platform, MITx, which already runs a handful of courses, including Circuits and Electronics, for around 120,000 students worldwide. 

The courses offered through edx will incorporate video lessons, online quizzes, and real-time feedback. Students will receive a certificates of mastery for their efforts. In recent years, there has been a massive groundswell in online learning—enabled by high-speed Internet connections, ubiquitous computers, and back-end technology like cloud computing. Edx is just the latest—and most prestigious—endorsement of that phenomenon.

It's interesting to see technology being used to make teaching more efficient. But platforms like edx could also help institutions such as MIT and Harvard identify and nurture the smartest students from anywhere in the world. 



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