Making education free for everyone

Nothing quite like kicking back one evening and watching an inspiring TED talk!


I am always amazed when people can think big ideas and then make it happen. Coursera creators wondered why only educate a lecture hall of 100 or 500 or even 1000 people when there is an entire global online community seeking high-quality postgraduate education. The course creators decided that they would push the envelope and simply make it happen. This is actually mind boggling. More than 100,000 people in a single course. I can only imagine the number of people that told them this can’t be done. Coursera is one of several organizations that is now offering massive open online courses (MOOC). It is partnered with several high profile universities including Standford and UPenn. Recently several international universities have joined as well.

What is most impressive is that currently this education is free! This idea that higher education should only be available to those who can pay should be obsolete. While unlikely, efforts such as Coursera strive to make high-quality education available to anyone around the world. It’s an interesting (and sad) situation that we provide free “education” to athletes who don’t even attend classes when there are millions of people globally who would love to learn so they can provide for their families.

This talk is by Daphne Koller, from Standford University, who was one of the Coursera developers.