Coursera Condescension

Jon Beasley-Murray, , Jun 11, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Part of the whole marketing schtick is to make it seem like nothing would be possible without your particular product. It's unfortunate (but unsurprising) to see it at work here. "we dwell on Raúl Coaguila, a Peruvian who won a Fulbright, we are told, thanks to his Coursera expertise. Because the fact is, Koller informs us, there is 'not very much computer education to be had in Peru.'" Really? Jon Beasley-Murray has actually been to Peru. "Pretty much all you see are endless adverts for computer courses at the multitude of local colleges and universities. Try for instance, the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas or the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería. Or even the venerable Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, which has been teaching computing for over seventy years. Heck, this October you could take part in the V Congreso Internacional de Computación y Telecomunicación, hosted at the Universidad Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. What, did Koller think they live in mud huts down there?" The same is true, I can attest, in other Latin American countries.

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