I received a solid guest post on one of my sites stating “everything wrong” with internet.org. However, that doesn’t stop me from seeing the benefits internet.org can bring to education and development. Internet.org is good news for people who can’t afford a glimpse of what the internet is like. It is also good news for people who don’t have access to education, or can’t afford it. Internet.org is free, MOOCs are free–it’d be awesome for both of them to run together.
Therefore, Facebook should work with big MOOCs providers to see that MOOCs are delivered through the internet.org’s platform.
What is internet.org?
It’s an initiative between Facebook, and several mobile phone companies, to provide an affordable internet access to the 2/3rds of the world (5 billion plus) not yet connected.
Internet.org has been launched in countries such as: Zambia, Ghana, India, and more.
What are MOOCs?
MOOCs, short for Massive Open Online Courses, are aimed at an unlimited audience. They are free and offer individuals with just a computer and an internet access, the opportunity to take courses delivered by word-class institutions from the comfort of their homes, offices, etc.
MOOC providers offer a collection of free courses from different institutions with an interactive medium for learning.
For example: Coursera, a leading MOOC provider, offers users the opportunity to take courses on a range of subjects (business, humanities, etc). These courses are usually delivered by world-class institutions from different parts of the world.
Coursera also offers users the opportunity to gain a verified certificate after the successful completion of a course.
How MOOCs Improve Internet.org’s credibility
There is a high possibility that people who can’t afford the cost of an internet access, cannot also afford a quality education. MOOCs providers like edX and Coursera can enable people who use the internet.org app to have access to free online courses delivered by top universities, or colleges in the world.
I suggest Facebook should work with MOOC providers such as Coursera, Khan Academy, edX, FutureLearn, and more to make this a reality.
It’ll be a major boost to the credibility of internet.org.