Education is Priceless

The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance.

– Benjamin Franklin

[tweetmeme] Gotta love Ben F! Lucky for us, education doesn’t have to come at such a steep price thanks to the growing open education movement

Last week while reading Open Education News, I learned about the January 6, 2010 launch of NalandaU (Chennai, India)—a free online university that aggregates video and course content from universities such as MIT, Stanford, Yale, Berkeley and the Indian Institute of Technology. As Nalanda’s blog points out:

Apart from watching the videos, the students can take notes in the page and access them later – organized by courses. They can also connect with their friends in Facebook who are also in the same virtual class, and share information. The course pages also have related courses that the student can take next and improve the knowledge further. Selected courses also have online quiz that the students can take to get their grades, and can manage their transcripts from a central location. It has a simple search tool with search suggestions and course results organized by broad topics.

The site has been designed to reduce distraction and information-intimidation as much as possible. The information available at each page is organized well, unintimidating and more homogeneous, and when playing the videos you can go full screen or hide everything other than the lecture by using “Dim the lights” option.

NalandaU is a wonderful site of reference and study for educators, parents and high school/university students wishing to brush up on subject matter knowledge, explore new areas of interest and connect with subject-specific enthusiasts around the world. Course topics range from the American Novel to the History of Economic Thought to Mobile Application Development (see more courses here).

I wonder what good ol’ Ben would have thought of NalandaU? Off to explore some Nalanda U courses on entrepreneurship



PS Curious about the original Nalanda University? Learn a bit of history here. Moving to the other side of the globe… For more tips and quotes from Benjamin Franklin, click here.



8 Responses to “Education is Priceless”

  1. 1 econjournal January 18, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Hi Anna,
    Thanks for taking your time to go through our site and writing this post (and for the Ben’s quote ;)). We are happy that you like the site. Education makes successful civilizations. However, world is going through a painful phase where even a four year education can mean decades of debt. We believe we can contribute to reducing education costs across the world.

    If you have any course suggestions, feature request or further tool ideas, let me know- balaji [at] nalandau [dot] com.

    Have a good day.

    Balaji Viswanathan,

  2. 2 readinggal January 18, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks Balaji!

    I would love to see more courses offered on pedagogy and languages (especially English as a Second Language).

    From one fan of OER to another!

  3. 3 econjournal January 18, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Hi Anna,
    I will look for good ESL and teaching related content, and add it to the list.


  4. 5 Barefoot Mama January 22, 2010 at 8:59 am

    My son is only two so has no idea how fortunate he is yet, living in a country (America) where he can learn as much as he wants. This is a fantastic idea and one that I hope will catch on. thank you for sharing!

  5. 6 NalandaU January 22, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Anna,
    As promised I added the English lessons in NalandaU, thanks to the lectures from Jennifer Recio Lebedev, along with two other universities.

    It covers grammar, pronunciation, idioms and vocabulary from basics to advanced that will help not just non-native speakers but also native speakers of English.

    Balaji Viswanathan

  1. 1 uberVU - social comments Trackback on January 23, 2010 at 1:48 am
  2. 2 Roundup of Reading and Literacy News, January 25 | BOOK(re)MARKS Trackback on January 26, 2010 at 12:47 am

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