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Crowd-­Funding Campaign to Reform Higher Education on a Global Scale

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Oplerno—a groundbreaking online educational institution—has launched a crowd-­‐ funding campaign on Indiegogo to raise $100,000 to further the mission of redesigning higher education from the ground up.

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“Much of the current system is out of control, with skyrocketing administrative costs, interfering corporate interests, and lack of faculty empowerment,” says Robert Skiff, founder of Oplerno. “Furthermore, student debt is increasing at an alarming and unsettling rate. By allowing students to connect directly to their instructors and giving instructors ownership and control of their teaching content—as well as at least 80 percent of the tuition they bring in—we are removing the excesses of the modern educational industry. Let’s give students the skills they seek, the credits they need, and an entirely new way to think about education,” stated Skiff.

The centerpiece of Oplerno’s redesign of the higher education model is the way that teachers and students are treated. At Oplerno, faculty own and control the course content they create. They decide how many students they will teach (though no more than 30 per class, guaranteeing a personal learning experience) and what to charge students for their services. Faculty members take home at least 80 percent of the tuition dollars they generate—between $5000 and $36,000 per class, depending on class tuition and enrollment. Students control their education through a degree of choice unavailable at traditional institutions. They choose their own teachers based on the types of skills they want to learn, outside reviews of classes, and affordability of class tuition. Typical costs for students will range between $500 and $1,500 per class. Using proprietary software, Oplerno will allow for the creation of an open and transparent marketplace, where learning can occur without the limitations imposed by many of the traditional structures of higher education. Oplerno will use the money raised by the Indiegogo campaign to pay for various start-up costs associated with accreditation, faculty support, and student advising. If Oplerno reaches its goal of $100,000, the organization has promised to donate one percent of its net profit—forever—to projects proposed by faculty and students that focus on education, ecological restoration, and economic development. As part of the crowd-funding campaign, Oplerno is offering a ten percent discount on tuition for 10 years to individuals who donate $1,000 or more.

“We have already created the foundation for massively increasing access to higher education on a global scale, while lowering costs for students and increasing pay for faculty,” Skiff says. “Now we need some help financially to bring our vision to scale. We want everyone to benefit from the work we have done to this point, so we have created some long-term value for people who are willing to help us build a new kind of learning organization.”

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Oplerno currently has more than 50 faculty from all over the world, creating graduate and undergraduate courses in fields ranging from engineering and the sciences to the liberal arts and humanities. Courses are being developed in English, Spanish, and Chinese to meet the needs of the global marketplace. Oplerno is committed to seeking regional and national accreditation as soon as possible. It plans to offer classes early in the first quarter of 2014 that will be available from any location on the planet with Internet access.

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

December 3, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Posted in school, technology

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175+ Free Online Educational Resources

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Over 175 Free Online Educational Resources

Warning: Very long post. Please open in a new browser tab.

Here is decades’ worth of knowledge freely available online for those who love to learn. Links that fit under multiple categories are listed only once.

What are your favorite sites to learn from? What sites would you add to this list?


I. Top Picks
II. Universities and Higher Education
III. General Collections
IV. How-to & DIY
V. Studying with Peers
VI. Online Books, eBooks, & Journals
VII. Computers, Software, & Programming
VIII. Science & Math
IX. Logic, Words, & Memory
X. Languages
XI. Music
XII. History
XIII. Business, Finance, & Investing
XIV. Food, Nutrition, & Cooking
XV. Survival Tips
XVI. Other



Khan Academy

Academic Earth – Online courses from the world’s top scholars

TED – Technology, Entertainment, & Design

MIT Open CourseWare

Stanford Engineering Everywhere

Open Yale Courses

About U. – Collection of free online courses from


YouTube EDU

The Open University – Study at the OU

University of the People

University of Reddit

Open Culture – The best free cultural & educational media on the web

VideoLectures – Exchange ideas & share knowledge

CosmoLearning – Free educational website with thousands of courses & documentaries



Lecture Fox – Free university lectures

More Open Courses:

Open Courseware Consortium

Harvard Extension School – Computer Science & Technology

Johns Hopkins University

Kaplan University

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

February 1, 2012 at 9:47 am

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This year’s book reviews #2010

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Programming Hands

As always I read far more in 2010 than I blogged about, and most of the books I did blog about were treasures. I hope I inspired you to read at least one of them. And you have certainly noticed that I have added them all to the bookstore to make it easier for you to find out more about them.

I’ve had this title in my head for about a week now, the title is natur…

I’m reading Bruce Sterling‘s Islands in the Net – Amazon de…

As followers of mine will know I love xkcd, and he has some gems such as this…

I read Amsterdam: The Brief Life of a City by Geert Mak in English rather tha…

I’ve seen the film more than a dozen times, but I had yet to read Star …

Brian Jacques‘s book Outcast of Redwallfollows Veil the ferret who is r…

The Odessa File, by Frederick Forsyth, is another of the books I am keeping s…

Brian Jacques‘s book Martin the Warrior is another book from the Redwal…

I found The Moon’s a Balloon, by David Niven, in a box of old books. I …

Mossflower by Brian Jacques is probably my favourite of the Redwall series, t…

Timothy Leary once told us to “Turn on, tune in, drop out“, and a…

For some reason I had the book Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA, by Br…

After having seen many films and read many books I expected that Hitler: The …

One of my first real American comics was Thor, I really liked it. Sadly it re…

I like Ontologies, Taxonomies and Folksonomies. I’m currently reading W…

I read Mario Puzo famed book The Godfather after having seen the movie a numb…

As I previously said I bought Anathem at the same time I bought Cryptonomicon…

I borrowed a number of books from an aunt of mine, who reviewed these books f…

I was standing in a secondhand book store with my father, and we wandered rou…

As an early Christmas gift my father gave me vouchers he didn’t want to…

The Snake is the first book I have read by John Godey, it was recommended to …

In the company I work for they are introducing the Agile FrameWork, in the fo…

Image source: Honou


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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

December 21, 2010 at 10:26 pm

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PoC: What would be required for a Paperless School? #education

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I was watching FourCast episode 60, in which they discussed the paperless office, and briefly mentioned the paperless school when it comes to homework. And I wondered what would really be required in a prototype or proof of concept. So I quickly fired up my pen and brainstormed what the essential items would be needed to have a paperless school.

  1. E-Mail
  2. PDF/ODF
  3. Scanner/OCR
  4. Digital Signing
  5. Online Grading

E-Mail or some sharing mechanism is needed for teachers to receive the documents. A document standard is needed which can be modified by the teacher, and can be added to the student’s current records. These documents naturally need to be digitally signed for non-repudiation. Online grading is an extension of the current student record. And lastly the most important portion for students who have no internet or computer access a scanner – with or without OCR.

Have anything to add?

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

December 21, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Posted in business, school

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Turn on, tune in, drop out: Personalised Online Education – Introduction #school #education

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Crashed School Bus by laffy4k

Timothy Leary once told us to “Turn on, tune in, drop out“, and although he was referring to mind expansion using drugs there is a move to the internet from institutionalised learning. Jason Fried, CEO of tech company 37signals, says “the next bubble to burst is higher education. It’s too expensive. It’s too much one-size-fits-all. This is an alternative way to think about teaching — simple, personal, free and moving at your own pace.”1 Languages, economics, biology, mathematics, social sciences and more are coming into their own online. Allowing interactive and customized education, like the correspondence courses of yesterday, yet morphing into freely available online education.

The only thing missing? Online accreditation. Although it is available for commercially available certifications: CISSP; CEH; MSCE; etc, it has yet to come for “government sanctioned” education programs. Even correspondance course educators still need to personally examine their customers by way of mass examination.

So where can you get this personalized education? That is what I will examine in the following blog posts entitled: “Turn on, tune in, drop out: Personalised Online Education.” I will cover the subjects ranging from languages to exact sciences, and you can help me by filling in the poll below to help me make a decision. And as always all comments are welcome. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

June 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Posted in books, IT, school, technology

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