Free Online Education is Leveling the Playing Field for Economically Challenged Communities


What if these women were watching a lecture by a professor from MIT or Harvard?? Its now a reality…

Now that opensource thinking has proliferated the technology space, a whole slew of products have emerged. Now all you need is an internet connection of some sort, a pair headphones and a phone with video capability and suddenly a person from Somalia or an innercity kid from Nairobi or South Central Los Angeles can be educated  in the same class by a professor from Harvard.

Several years ago, MIT had decided to put all their courses up for free on something called OpenCourseware (OCW). I didn’t particularly enjoy the material on there, but I soon realized I was in the minority. During my travels, I came across several people from around the world, particularly parts where a lack of financial resources and good universities abounds, who had successfully used the material and even learned it better than me.

Since then, several others have emerged that can run the gamut of education from grade school (the Khan Academy, TED-Ed) to university education (EdX, the new MIT-Harvard initiative to replace OCW,  Coursera from Stanford, Udacity), and beyond (Udemy).

I’m slowly wading my way through all the different programs, and trying to figure out what works for me. But its super cool that finally the developing world has almost equal access to anyone else anywhere else. Hurrah to the future of education. Now if we can just get more women access to this, and we will see the world change for the better.

Tomas Saraceno shows you what its like to “walk on air”


Over the past couple of weeks, MIT Visiting Artist Tomas Saraceno has been setting the design world ablaze with his innovative playground titled “On Space Time Foam.” Currently on display in Milan, visitors (both young and old) can explore a large hangar-like area by climbing around a plastic-bag like maze.

Here’s a video of what its like. You can’t see the smiles on the faces of the people climbing around, but several of the pictures I’ve seen show them pretty big.