Coursera announced its transformation into an on-demand learning platform. The idea is that when people want to learn something, they can log onto the education version of Youtube, where plenty of learning videos and in-video quiz are available any time.
Would this Youtube model work for education? Personally I love the idea of having a digital archive of learning materials, because I am hopelessly nerdy and I work in MOOC space. But for the majority of us, between consuming a funny cat video and consuming a lecture after dinner, which one do you choose?
We pay Netflix to watch TV shows online. We pay Youtube to watch movies online. (at least I did, one of my lowest point in life). Would we be equally attempted to pay to be taught online?
In the future, I hope the answer is yes and I know this will come from a limited percentage of the population. Learning takes heavier brain load, needs certain dedication and discipline, requires thinking to internalise information which hopefully changes our thinking paradigm if we allow ourselves some thinking and reflection time. It is hard and does not come naturally. We are humans, we are born to be lazy, undisciplined (at lease my nature says so).
Therefore there is still a lot of work to be done to create an environment where people consumer learning content as happily as they do with junk food and gossip newspaper.