MOOC Learning

The internet is full of disreputable sources for information. As the popular internet meme attributed to Abraham Lincoln says, “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.” But the internet is also full of information that is attached to a viable source. A wealth of credible information is available for anyone who is willing to look for it. I have found that, despite all the refuse that has to be sifted through, it is not that hard to find trustworthy knowledge. The resources on the internet that have helped me explore the world the most are MOOCs- Massive Online Open Courses. MOOCs are online courses on almost any subject and are connected to higher education institutes, many of which are world-renowned. They are usually free and open to anyone who wants to take them, and there are dozens of websites that offer them. Through MOOCs, I have been able to learn things and explore subjects at a level that I would not be able to otherwise.
Many of the courses I’ve taken were music-related- Music business, Vocal Production, Songwriting, and Musicianship. Taught through Video lectures by actual professors of universities like Berklee, who have worked in the music industry, the classes give me reliable information I otherwise wouldn’t be able to access. Some of the information I gleaned from these classes are not directly applicable for me right now- it could be something I use in the future, but even if it is not, it helps give me a fuller picture of what the subject is like and if it is something I want to pursue in college or beyond. On the other hand, some of the things I learn are directly applicable to my life now, and help me to be a better musician; they help me to play or sing better, or have a deeper understanding of music theory.
But my experience with MOOCs has not been relegated to just music-related courses: I’ve also taken courses related to engineering, sustainability, biblical history and learning. MOOCs give me the opportunity to explore practically any topic I want, discovering what I like and or what I do not like, without having to pay and without worrying about whether or not what I am learning is false or only partially true. One of the greatest aspects of the internet is that anyone can propagate any belief, knowledge, or theory in any fashion that they desire- but that is also one of the worst aspects of the internet. Nothing can be believed without correlative proof. I think one of the most substantial checks on this drawback to the internet is MOOCs, because the evidence in their reliability is in the institution that they represent, and as far as the institution can be trusted, the information in the MOOC can be trusted. Because of the assurance of authenticity I have when exploring my world through MOOCs, I have been able to dive into multifarious subjects and learn more than I would have ever been able to without that technology.


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