This is an idea I have had for a long time (since my wife and I started Burton’s Garden of Schools 20 years ago):
Create a venue that would allow people to learn to develop their knowledge and skills, for free or a low cost.
I read in the Chronicle of Higher Learning that a few universities have begun offering Massive Open Online Courses. A MOOC is a free course for which anyone can register. You do not receive college credit, a certificate or even teacher feedback during the class. You do receive educational opportunity in a structured learning environment to gain new skills and knowledge (the reason that universities and colleges exist). I first learned of some universities offering some of their course work online for free (lectures, powerpoints, syllabi, etc) at a conference. Of course the home schooling community has made use of such materials since they first became available. My daughter took a free philosophy course offered by Yale during her senior year of high school.
The results that I have read on MOOC are mixed: on the negative side, it is a lot of work with no compensations (for the professor), sometimes there are students that join the class just to disrupt or to spam fellow students. On the plus, many faculty report that it has been a very rewarding experience with over 1/3 of those who enrolled in the MOOC actively participating and even meeting outside of the online environment face-to-face. Open University in England even reports that it has had the effect of increasing their enrollment in classes.
If I teach it, will they come?
Over the past several months I have had many requests to provide educational courses in iPhone/iPad and Android mobile development. The requests range from individuals to corporations to universities. Obviously, I only have so many hours in the day, so creating something like a MOOC has a certain appeal.
I’m considering a tiered system:
|MOOC||Burton’s Media Group||College Course|
So my question is, are you interested? If you are, in which type of system? MOOC, a certificate that I provide, or a college course?
Here is my first MOOC on iPhone/iPad programming.
I am currently working on one for Corona and Android development.