May 1, 2012

Making College Free: Rethinking Higher Education

This week, we are discussing the entity of Higher Education. The costs, the curriculum, the desired outcomes, and the alternatives.


There is a big political push right now saying Higher Education should be free. Ok, but does "free" mean the Federal Government subsidizes our tuition to traditional Universities, or does "free" mean free access to the education itself? Because, as a currently debt-laden nation, the latter seems more achievable? And here are a couple of my favorite options.

Khan Academy
Dedicated to providing a free world-class education to anyone, anywhere. This site currently has 3,100 lessons and counting, all produced by site founder, Salman Khan. Bill Gates' kids learn via the Khan Academy. This is the biggest non-profit stand-alone educational resource out there right now.

Crash Course
This new venture offers super high-quality and beautifully produced liberal arts overviews, currently only for the fields of "World History" and "Biology". But this is incredibly exciting. Let's say like-minded professors help create these full courses for 60 different fields, the wide spectrum of liberal arts "Gen Eds"...

Could these free options essentially replace one's first two years of college?

Sure...if schools begin to recognize them. But, that's a big "if". And that's where we'll start tomorrow.