Bonus- Office Hours - Santa Monica, CA
So for me, Coursera is just more to learn more about the world around me, and to listen to professors from other great universities teach. And so a nontechnical person, but I've always been interested in technology, which is what drew me to Dr. Chuck's course, which is excellent. I hope that they keep on doing these things and they keep it interesting, and they do encourage professors to meet the people that they are teaching.
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Hello, Charles Severance here, again with another Internet history technology office hours. This time, January 3rd or 4th, 2014 in Santa Monica, California and I’d like to introduce you to some of the students. Hi, my name is Anthony from Carson, California. I already enjoyed learning about history of the Internet because, yeah I’ve been using it for years and years and years. And I really had no idea how this all got together. I use a screen reader called JAWS. And because it’s pretty much all HTML, the screen reader reads everything fine. Every link is tagged correctly, pictures, and haven’t actually had to encounter any images or anything like that. But links are tagged correctly. When I take the quizzes, the different choices are tagged correctly. I haven’t had any problems with it, and I’m actually very happy for that. How about the lectures? How do the lectures work you? I download the videos. I just click on the download link. Open up my Windows Media Player and just listen away. So tell me a little bit about how Coursera fits into your like education plan? In this for fun? Do you have any goals? What kind of education do you have and where does Coursera fit in? Yeah. Oh, I see. I have two bachelors from Long Beach State, a Master’s from Stanford. So for me, Coursera is just more to learn more about the world around me, and to listen to professors from other great universities teach. For the first time really you can feel as if you’re sitting in a classroom at Michigan or, at the university. Like Hong Kong University of Science and Technology or whatever. And it’s really cool, because there are other professors who are there and because of the Internet, it’s compressing time and space. And you can be there. So, for me, I think I would be taking more. I’ve taken four courses. Five courses. And I plan to take more this year. This is only my, I started in April of last year, so we’ll see how many more I take. Okay. Thanks, Anthony. Yeah, thank you. Well done. Wow, good energy. Okay. So, Mo, tell us a little bit about your background. I studied computer science, graduated in 1983 from Cal State Northbridge. I’ve been working since then. Developed CAD cam software, computer-aided design software for about 26 years and then we were off-shored to India. And from that, I started working at a medical record company developing EMR packages for physical therapy, physical therapists. So tell me how Coursera sort of fits into your education. How many classes have you taken, what are your plans, where is it going for you? Got you, I’ve taken a lot of online classes through Coursera. I think this Internet History class is one of the only that I’ve completed. I’ve registered for many, but taken other online courses, the gamification course is fantastic. There’s just so many opportunities to learn almost anything in the world. It’s just fantastic. You can take them at your own leisure. Whenever I’m sitting at home bored, I’ll just browse through what’s out there. And I love it. So do you think it has any chance of replacing education as we know it? Probably not. Why? I think there is a huge benefit to meeting in a classroom environment where you can be face to face with fellow students and instructors. There’s a lot of courses that it makes sense to take on your own at home. But there are a lot of courses that would be very difficult to achieve a high level of understanding. Is there anything that worries you about this kind of movement, putting online education. No it’s definitely the way we should go. I love free online education, and I hope Coursera keeps it free. I love it. Okay, let’s switch to Melanie. So hello Melanie, tell us a little bit about yourself. Hi, I’m Melanie Abbot, I live here in Los Angeles. I am a meeting and event planner. And so a nontechnical person, but I’ve always been interested in technology, which is what drew me to Dr. Chuck’s course, which is excellent. And it was my first Coursera course. So are you planning on taking other classes? Oh, yeah. Like Mo, I’ve signed up for many. Have only completed this one so far, but I am a huge fan of free education. I think it’s brought learning to the world, and it’s not going away. How do you think it would fit into your education, if you were in college right this minute? If I was in college right now, I think it’s a great supplement to whatever you’re already taking. I mean, it’s just a way to deepen your knowledge on any topic. So do you think that it’s a threat in any way of any kind of educational structures that they’re building right now? Maybe monetarily. To the institution of education as a business which I’m not really in favor of. That education has kind of become a business. And I think that this is a way to bring it back to what it really should be, learning. Education is the key to solve all the world’s problems. All right, is there anything about the way it’s being done that worries you at all? No, not worried. But I would like to see more of what you’re doing, is like making it real. I think that making it feel like it’s not just through the Internet, that this is real people in the world that you can interact with and learn from. Do you, have you been listening to the media talking about MOOCs? There was a special on NPR a couple weeks ago and I did listen to it. And I was surprised how uninteresting it was considering how fantastic Coursera and MOOCs are. I was really surprised that it didn’t do a better job of pushing it onto people. Anthony, do you have any closing thoughts? I encourage people to check out Coursera. And I don’t, there’s this maybe talk that it’s gonna replace education and it can solve all the problems with remedial education and universities. I don’t think it can, but it’s an excellent supplement. And if I were in college, I could imagine that I would be taking maybe one course along with my other courses. Would I complete it? I don’t know. But I would definitely be interested. It’s just a lot of different topics that have been discussed. Computer science, the universe, programming. I hope that they keep on doing these things and they keep it interesting, and they do encourage professors to meet the people that they are teaching. I think there’s great value in taking classes where the grades don’t matter, right? Because in college, you would choose. I only chose to take classes where I knew I could get really good grades. . Right, so, okay, well let me turn this thing back at me. So, there you have it. Nice little report here from Santa Monica, just after the Rose Bowl. So, we’ll see you on the net.
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