A recent article from [China Distance Education Journal] is titled [Be aware of MOOCs – education colonisation].
I have a rough idea what is education but I am not too familiar with the term ‘colonisation’ so I went on searching. Colonise means ‘(of a country or its citizens) send a group of settlers to (a place) and establish political control over it.’
Co-founder, Andrew Ng, of Coursera (the biggest MOOC platform) is a Chinese by origin. In Stanford, he started the Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE) movement, which is to put the best engineering classes online for free to the general public. SEE became the precursor of MOOCs. I can’t really associate his acts with political agenda. I am not even slightly aware if he has political aspiration of any sort.
Also an average MOOC learner has reached an adult age. He/she is able to reason and argue independently. Again MOOC is not to dump information and brainwash people. It only provides options for accessibility. What to learn is a decision taken by learner not the educator.
There are two restaurant chefs. Chef A is particularly successful and attracts many customers. For some reason he believes sharing is caring and decided to offer his receipt to every one even to those who cannot afford to eat there. (Let us take a leap of faith and not be too cynical about his motivation). Chef B gets offended,” This is gourmet colonisation!!!”, people, please be aware oF the danger!’. Is it jealousy or insecurity or this chef B is genuinely concerned about customers’ political fate? We don’t know for sure.
Does it stop the trend of opening up resources for free? I guess not.