When the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) enrolled over a hundred thousand students from all over the world, it started an education buzz about how technology could revolutionize higher education. A few years later, MOOCs haven’t exactly replaced expensive college degrees, but edX CEO Anant Agarwal says the MIT experiment with MOOCs has given educators important insights into how students learn.

In his TED talk, Agarwal describes how MOOCs are inspiring university and high school teachers to try assigning video lectures for homework so class time can be used for asking questions and hands-on assignments. He’s fired up at how engaged students have been and at the power of immediate feedback the online platform offers. Even more impressive, students from around the world are discussing concepts together online, eventually finding answers to questions on their own. MOOCs may not have upended the university system as predicted, but they may have done something better, Agarwal says — force inert institutions to rethink their practices.

  • Kay Alina

    Teen-lish. Love it. Thank you for bringing humor into raising a 14 yo boy. Grunt. Silence.

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  • tim

    Kids learn on their own – we need videos of great teachers..
    use Fuller Earth by Bucky Fuller instead of untruthful euclidean geometry.
    80% of IQ forms in the first 8 years. Bucky geometry start with the whole.
    that book cost 7 dollars used- get a copy. we need to change the education
    content- children learn by doing- break and then put together. let them
    jump seeing general patterns instead miniature specialized linear fragments.
    children want to know everything. have not read Aristotle but we should
    start with relations rather than objects and categorizes-
    contemporary education is producing industrial robotic mind..
    that if you want life to continue on earth you need to teach them
    that they are part of the earth and not specialized narrow microscopic

  • Hazman Shah Abdullah

    Disturbing insights into the so called modern day teaching and learning in universities. The factory like systems in the universities have endured despite the revolution in technology taking place elsewhere. MOOCs’ most significant impact may be in transforming university TLA than in opening up free education to the world. Universities must reimagine infrastructure as virtual systems supporting the flipped classroom rather than as real estate.

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