Online, Universal College
An interesting transformation has quietly been taking place, with education available for all. Google's YouTube service has been partnering for the last few years, with as many schools, colleges and universities as it can get to agree to record lectures, classroom sessions, guest speakers, even entire course content.
The content has been assembled to create a new school, with no attendance fees. A broadband connection is all that is required, along with the ability to understand spoken English. This new school, operating in a specially set-up area of YouTube, is set to try to break the old model of education, with more than 100 educational establishments submitting material.
The hope is to foster a situation where anyone who desires to get an education, regardless of their circumstances, can get an education.
At a time when many are finding college unaffordable and the ranks of the unemployed are swelling, free higher learning can sound like a good way to spend some free time.
"There's a huge appetite around the world for people to better themselves, to study subjects that they either never got a chance to or haven't studied in a while," said Obadiah Greenberg, the strategic partnership manager for YouTube.
Ben Hubbard, program manager of the webcast project for the University of California, Berkeley, believes it has always been a part of a university's vocation.
"The mission of the university has been the same since our charter days back in the 1800s," said Hubbard. "It's threefold: there's teaching, research and community service. Probably in the 1800s they weren't thinking of it as the globe, but technology has really broken down those barriers of geography."
The universal college can be accessed at: http://www.youtube.com/edu