Too many MOOCs

I have been over enthusiastic in my desire to learn. Because I am now retired, I have plenty of free time on my hands. I am fortunate in many ways to be retired at a time such as the present where many of the great higher education establishments of the world are offering courses for free (MOOCs).

I have, in the last year, taken courses on Creative Learning from the Digital Media Lab at M.I.T., Mathematical Education from Stanford University, the major threats facing our planet from the University of Illinois, Psychology from Birmingham University, Jazz Appreciation from the University of Austin, Texas, P2PU courses on the open web and Deeper Learning, and Web Science from Southampton University!

I am currently engaged on the repeat (year 2) of the M.I.T. Media Lab Course on Creative Learning as well as doing a Creativity Course from Stanford University.

My head is literally spinning from trying to keep up with expectations, readings, assignments not to mention watching the videos and listening to the podcasts! I have, on top of this, taken on a role as a mentor for the M.I.T. course which involves a weekly, online, team “hangout”.

Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy the Learning, the interaction with others, the brilliant chat on the community forums, but it is time consuming.

My wife made a good point the other day when she said that, as a retired person, wasn’t I supposed to get some leisure time to read a book, catch up with a video of a T.V. programme that I’d missed, take up bowls or just take a walk by the local, beautiful riverside?

The more I have thought about this, the more I feel that she is right. I have overindulged in MOOCs because they are interesting and because they are free! Would I have taken as many (or indeed any) if they came at a cost? I doubt it.

I have decided that, from now on I will ration my MOOC study, read some good books, go bowling and take a few lovely country walks. I will enjoy my study then, be able to really dig deep into areas of interest and genuinely enjoy being retired!

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