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Education and Social MediaToward a Digital Future$
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Christine Greenhow, Julia Sonnevend, and Colin Agur

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034470

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034470.001.0001

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University of the People: A Model for International, Tuition-Free, Open Education Powered by Social Media

University of the People: A Model for International, Tuition-Free, Open Education Powered by Social Media

Chapter:
(p.187) 11 University of the People: A Model for International, Tuition-Free, Open Education Powered by Social Media
Source:
Education and Social Media
Author(s):

Shai Reshef

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262034470.003.0012

In this chapter, the founder of the experimental, Internet-based University of the People describes the history of the university and discusses how lessons shared via social media might enable the growth of a free, international system of higher education accessible to all. The author asserts that such a system could harness the collective intelligence of millions who now are blocked by financial and other obstacles from obtaining higher education. The University of the People is a non-profit, tuition-free, accredited online university that draws on open-source technology, Open Educational Resources, peer-to-peer learning, and the assistance of academic volunteers. Founded in 2009, the university has served more than 2,000 students from more than 148 countries. Based on this experience, the author draws some lessons for people considering launching similar enterprises. Chief among them is that volunteers must be supplemented by paid staff.

Keywords:   Online learning, Social media, Peer-to-peer learning, University of the People

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