1) Huge variety of courses from the best professors in the world (see Gamification course from Coursera below) or Machine Learning , Human Computer Interaction
2) They are free ( is a mistake)! time is not free.
Also signature courses at Coursera now offer credible tracks for $39, and they have more support.
Why do you as a student need support? because sometimes you get stuck, and sometimes you need human interaction to stay motivated.
3) Coursera- I love these things-
Can run the course faster at 1.75 times ( because seriously I get distracted otherwise)
Can run the multiple language CC (captions) – reading is so much faster
Best feature- in video quizzes
Most number of courses
Makes learning fun
Makes easy to learn language
I wish someone could mash more of Coursera content with Codeacademy gamification and teach hacking and data sciences to the next generation of hackers!!
Rest of the websites are good, but I stick to Coursera and Codeacademy!
5) Education empowers! Every person who learns R or JMP through a free MOOC will create more value for themselves, customers, and their society, country than had they remain uneducated because they could not afford the training.
Higher education in the West is no longer the exclusive club and proxy partner to student debt. This amazing article by NYTimes shows how- the following are shaking the football loving US education giants in their boots while bring balance back to the Force. Big Education for the common people because you need humans to code in the Big Data era.
https://www.coursera.org/ – The pioneer, has the advantages and disadvantages of being the market leader in an innovating. Sure 1.7 million users, but how many are attending how many lectures and how many newly skilled machine learning people are there after 2 courses have been completed by Andrew Ng, and does industry feel the same about the employ-ability of these course takers.
https://www.edx.org/ , and http://www.udacity.com/ – again some course are common across these platforms so more public web analytics would be a welcome step.
But I really liked Stanford’s open source solution, so that anyone especially and including corporations and companies can start creating their own online courses. It is called class2go and is available at https://github.com/Stanford-Online/class2go
Class2Go is Stanford’s internal open-source platform for on-line education. A team of eight built the first version over the summer 2012, and it is still under active development. Class2Go launched this Fall for six on-campus classes and two “massive open online courses” (MOOC’s): Computer Networking and Solar Cells, Fuel Cells, and Batteries.
Class2Go was built to be an open platform for learning and research. Professors have access to the classes’ data to learn how their students learn.
Projects that help class2go.com
Good to see technology and the internet bringing back skills to people globally, so in the future they wont have to use a skill shortage excuse to import cyber technology H1b slaves and coolies from Asia forced to choose between livelihood, family and undeniable economic arbitrage pressure. Maybe they can try and customize it for Africa, or for women or other needy areas as well.
- Keeping MOOCs Open (creativecommons.org)