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Higher education credentials need not be scarce.

Wrap your mind around that sentence.

The idea that higher educational credentials need not be scarce is the idea of edX.

It has taken my participation in four EdX Global Forums, not to mention my own work at my school on open online learning courses on the edX platform, to finally understand that edX is really an idea.

EdX is not really a consortium. (Although it is a consortium). EdX is not really an open platform. (Although it is an open platform). EdX is not really a website and a global aggregator of lifelong learners. (Although it is both those things).

What edX really is is an idea.

And there is nothing in this world as powerful as an idea. 

What in our world has transitioned from scarcity to abundance? (Or near abundance?).

Light. Clean water. Food. Books. Bandwidth. Music. News. Processing Power. Storage. Information. What else? What’s next?

Some people (including me) think that energy will make the transition from scarcity to abundance in our lifetimes. (And I’m not talking about shale gas - my thinking runs to non-incremental breakthroughs in renewable energy and storage).

The idea that a higher educational credential need not be scarce is a radical one.

The idea of edX is that all of these scarcities of higher education can be broken apart, and tackled one-by-one.

The idea of edX is that a (meaningful) higher education credential should be available to every person in the world, rather than the small minority that today can access an education that leads to a credential.

The idea of edX is that a higher education credential is a right for everybody, not a privilege of the few.

The idea of edX is that the answer to transitioning away from the scarcity model of higher education will be found in the world’s great institutions of higher learning.

The idea of edX is that nobody really knows how to get from scarcity to abundance in higher education credentialing, but that the answer will only be found by experimentation and action (rather than talking and defending the status quo).

A move to end the global scarcity in higher education credentialing will require a non-linear advance. 

What I find amazing is that the members of the edX Consortium seem to think that it can be done.

Do you?


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