Not long ago, employers turned up their noses (and turned out applicants) whose curriculum vitae included courses completed online. Today, distance learning is an integral part of the overall delivery of course material found in universities across the globe. Students can attend lectures from the best schools in the country; online and for free. Online education is in a golden age of development and the offerings are exciting.
Academic Earth makes it possible for anyone to access lectures on everything from Abstract Art to Zoology. ITunes University also offers a wide range of lectures. Most major universities offer open courseware (OCW). OCW allows anyone, anywhere, to access the course material taught at the respective universities offering them. Although credit is not granted, students may master the material. Some learners assemble a self-acquired competency portfolio that they then submit to the university they have been formally admitted to.
Universities from around the globe have united in an effort to perfect the delivery of OCW and continue to work to make higher education available to all. At the pinnacle of these offerings, stands the University of the People, the U of People. Tuition is free, although there are fees for testing and other services. Financial burdens are minimal so that any person in the world can gain access to a higher education; a precious resource that was previously outside their grasp.
Largely self-taught, Abraham Lincoln rose to the Presidency of the United States of America. These new opportunities for education will have a profound effect upon the world and its future as more of the world’s population gains access to higher education.