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Free Education and Certification

Ever since I saw the TED program on the Kahn Academy I’ve been fascinated. So simple. So straightforward. MIT is in the mix now. So are Stanford and Harvard and lots of other big name schools. There is conversation going on fast and furiously about possibilities for certification rather than diplomas from the big schools. And even if it’s just for fun. If you like physics, or don’t understand it at all, why not tune into a master and figure it out?

I’ve written on this page before about the blogs (Fixes) written by David Bornstein and others that are found on the Thursday NY Times Op-Ed Page. They’re examining things that work to make people’s lives better. (oh what a novel idea, things that make life better, not horror stories!)

His post today is about ALISON which is teaching certification for work programs. And it is providing these courses for free. Although the bulk of students come from UK and US and India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Nigeria and the Middle East where ALISON has 200,000 students. But there are also students in tiny countries who would not otherwise have access to the career of their dreams or a skill that fills a local need. This way, enterprising people are looking at jobs that are available, and going after the certificates needed to match their skills to the openings… It’s a great tool for a new world.

This is an idea worth supporting… and ingenuity worth celebrating. Hooray.