What Online Learning Besides Mit

A number of online education ventures that offer degree credit to their students, be it for independent study or on-site in a traditional setting, have sprung up in recent years. In all, there are over 3,000 degrees granted by the handful of colleges currently online-certified, as well as hundreds of credit hours (CSYM) awarded by other schools that can be given to distance students to complete a degree.

In, we have issues with many things. With porn, food, television, schools, politicians, and the US government, we have a bit of a problem. Like, a really big problem. But all of these issues have their own downsides. Going through routine schools and food classes, commuting on buses, and watching TV all have a negative impact on the health of people. And now, online learning is taking everything online, and the negative impact of what we are learning online is much more pronounced.

Let’s talk about porn. Most of the times porn doesn’t teach anything. And lately, it’s been no different. Not only does it make it okay to see something you’re supposed to see as sexy, but porn doesn’t teach us anything about understanding what porn does. Porn makes us want what we’re looking at, and that’s what it does for viewers. No one actually knows what they’re looking at until that moment. And yet, porn makes it okay to consume in the way that all porn does, without any meaningful information or context about what it’s doing. This led to all the art of pornography being reclassified as child pornography, and porn stars losing their rights to privacy.

We’ve gone from educating from the library to the internet to using educational videos online. It goes back to grade school as homework; much of it is meaningless; it’s something that, again, plays a role in what we see, not teaches us anything new. And when you really look into why some courses use so much technology in the classroom, it’s to give you so much in three to four minutes. When you stop and think about how much you learn in six months as a high schooler who looks at hundreds of pages of material every week, and compare that to how much you learn in a semester’s worth of online video lectures, you get an idea of just how much you would benefit from educating yourself, or from going back to the library.

I talk to a lot of people who don’t like that they don’t get to see my classes. But in my opinion, they have a lot to gain from going to classes that you simply can’t see anywhere else online. When you can’t see a lecture, you look something else up to figure out what it is that you are supposed to learn. Going to class, you give yourself context because you are there to learn it; and without context, you can’t really learn something new. So not having online courses is one way to lose out on education.

For example, in this class on neuroticism, we were having a discussion about Schadenfreude and how it brings a person joy when someone else suffers. I usually tell the class when they don’t understand something that I want to explain it but we can’t do it in class. In class, we can keep explaining it to them. So I had a pair of headphones in and was able to play it on YouTube. And I did it in 15 seconds and made it easier for everyone to understand it.

Learning isn’t about the tools, it’s about the lessons. I’m not suggesting that an online course is the only way to learn. But there are only so many 3 or 4 minute sessions on how to open an email you don’t understand. This stuff has to be placed into the real world. All students learn differently, and teaching with online courses can be somewhat frustrating, but in the long run, you gain more knowledge, not just through online courses but from the face-to-face education you get.

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