One of the difficult parts of living away from home during most of 2012 was the loneliness. I was living by myself in Ibadan in a massive house. I am not a fan of television shows. Plus, you can only stay online for so long and there only so much you can read. However, something happened and I am not even sure how it happened. I discovered MOOC. I discovered the Massive Open Online Courses.
For me, it was like a light went off and I finally had something to look forward to each weekend. The first class I took (and the only one that I have completed) was Udacity’s How to Build a Startup taught by Steve Blanks. I loved it so much and in a lot of ways it gave me hope again about entrepreneurship. That class is one of the ways in which I look through my entrepreneurial journey and spot my errors.
Since I took that first MOOC, I have really become passionate about learning online. I am a big fan of discovering how to gain an education for free. After a lifetime of paying hefty school tuitions, it is good to be able to learn and not worry about the bills. Although in Nigeria, I did have to worry about my hefty monthly bill for my internet access. One of the constant conversations that I have in my head is how to ensure that people in Nigeria who are not rich can still benefit from this explosion in MOOC. It is lovely that I am able to gain from MOOC but the difference is makes in my life is less compared to the potential difference it could make to students who don’t have access to any form of higher education currently.
One other thing that has become an obsession for me with MOOC is figuring out which are the best ones. I have been lucky in the sense that I have had access to classes on Udacity, Coursera and Canvas Network. I did try to register for an EDx class but was not selected for it. Each of these platforms seem to subscribe to a different pedagogy. I have signed up and dropped many MOOC classes simply because I realised that there was no way I was going to learn anything. I find that I respond better when there is a level of engagement in the learning process. It is one of the reason I keep hoping that Udacity grows quicker than it currently is because I love their approach.
Anyway, I just felt nostalgic about the beginning of my relationship with MOOCs because I just started a class on gamification on Coursera. I really like it and I think it might be the second class that I would complete(fingers crossed).