What the MOOC?

Yesterday I enrolled in a class. Understanding the Media by Understanding Google. With over 41,000 classmates. At one of the top journalism schools in the country. And it’s free.

A MOOC, or Massive Open Online Course, is a large scale class that is delivered via the Internet. Providers, who collaborate with universities, include Udacity, Coursera and Edx.

The class will be delivered by Professor Owen R. Youngman, the Knight Professor of Digital Media at the Medill School at Northwestern University. Professor Youngman told the Knight Blog:

It’s not a class about Google, but about how American media and culture have changed in the past 15 years since Google was founded.

The course outline on Coursera provides further detail:

You will learn how to understand the tactics that modern media companies, journalists, marketers, politicians, technologists, and social networks are using to reach you and affect your behavior. You will learn how to adopt strategies that put them on an even footing with these entities in achieving your own communications goals.

I read about open online learning a while ago, but was too exhausted by my job/life/wedding to pay much attention.

But now that I think about it, this MOOC thing is pretty darn cool. Anyone can complete the course. People aren’t excluded on the basis of income, and there’s no nasty debt at the end of it. You get a chance to study at a top US university—and make 41,000 friends from around the world while doing it.

If any off you blog followers (Ugg Clogs?) are interested in joining the class, let me know. We could form an online study group.  

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