Friday, 19 July 2013

Going beyond the usual suspects

If 2012 was the year of the MOOC, 2013 is shaping up to be the year of the anti-MOOC. In any case, all the attention is focused on the major online education players: Coursera, Udacity, edX and Khan Academy.

Here are 5 lesser-known organisations with innovative approaches to online education worth having a look at:

Duolingo is teaching languages for free to 5 million people (so far) and harnessing their collective brain power to translate the web.

The team behind Coursolve believes that the learning setting is the best place to empower people to go and change the world.
Coursolve connects courses with organizations to empower students to solve real-world problems.

MOOC Campus is an initiative by the non for profit Black Mountain SOLE.
This innovative approach to online education is actually a brick and mortar solution offering a Self-Organised Learning Environment for autodidacts and facilitating learning through tutors and peer interactions.

Minerva aims to become an “Ivy league” university at half the cost. It is attempting to lure the brightest students by offering a MOOC based education to a cohort of students in a different city every semester (San Francisco, Tokyo, Mumbai, London, etc.).

Still in beta, DraftQuest is a creative writing tool with an innovative approach to curing writer’s block.

Some of the projects above are lead by star entrepreneurs and have raised millions in funding others have much more modest ambitions. It all goes to show however that the online education revolution is much broader than the big MOOC platforms.

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