By Anya KamenetzA new pioneer has just planted its flag on the ed-tech frontier: the country of Trinidad and Tobago. Its government this week announced the creation of a to promote free online learning in partnership with and The initiative is part of a broader national strategy of investment in education. The currently oil- and gas-dependent Caribbean nation is trying to transform itself into a knowledge economy. For observers of ed-tech, meanwhile, the news represents a possible future path for Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs — not as a replacement for a college degree but as a resource for hybrid and lifelong learning, made in the USA and exported around the world.
Visitors to will find a curated selection of video-based courses, divided into categories like “entrepreneurship” and “creativity.” For some of these courses, Trinidadians will also be able to go to their local campus of the University of Trinidad and meet in person with a facilitator as well as with others taking the same course. It’s a global version of the flipped classroom, where the lecture may have been recorded at Vanderbilt or Rice, but the class discussion’s unfolding thousands of miles away. Coursera calls this the model. There are currently Learning Hubs located at embassies, libraries and universities on five continents.
[ Full article available at NPR: http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/05/29/316989869/the-future-of-online-ed-isnt-heading-where-you-expect ]