The Way We Learn Now

Danny King and Alan Heppenstall, the founders of Accredible

Danny King and Alan Heppenstall, the founders of Accredible

Today, with the thousands of courses that students can take online, it’s hard to believe that 30 years ago, we didn’t even have the Internet. It’s exciting to think that you can literally learn anything you want now with a world-class education right at your fingertips. These expanded opportunities for learning inspired my co-founder Alan Heppenstall and me to create Accredible. Both of us knew that there were plenty of resources online for programmers to learn, but since the inception of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), the opportunities to learn about anything—from artificial intelligence to art history—are absolutely unparalleled. That’s exciting stuff!

What we’re trying to do with Accredible is revolutionize how people view and define what it means to be educated. Education is expanding beyond the classroom, so it only makes sense that our view of education expands as well. Degrees from traditional universities are incredibly valuable and won’t be replaced, but the systems we have to acknowledge learning—diplomas, degrees, certificates—don’t quite address an increasingly popular way of getting an education, one that millions of people are opting into: MOOCs.

With the rising cost of education, pursuing some combination of MOOCs or other skill-building platforms can help students gain credits to graduate early or simply gain much-needed skills for industries lacking talent. Unfortunately, with traditional CVs, there’s no place to list the coursework you complete through MOOC platforms like Udacity, Coursera, edX, NovoEd, FutureLearn and other amazing online learning platforms like Khan Academy, Saylor, Treehouse, along with so many others. On Accredible, you can create a knowledge profile and fill designated “slates” of your courses or skills with evidence of your learning.

And think about it—no one stops learning after getting a college degree! People need a way to document and validate their continuing learning journeys, and we’re paving that way with Accredible. We’re all about enabling people with intrinsic curiosity and passion to keep learning and actually be able to share their growth with the world. It’s hard to question the time invested and the depth of learning when the course notes, quizzes, projects, videos, and even pictures with classmates at meetups are right on the screen. Additionally, you can collect endorsements, which are like mini-recommendations, from professors and classmates to build even more credibility around a body or knowledge.

Along the way Alan and I have learned a lot about edtech and the other amazing heroes who have pioneered online and alternative education paths—we are so inspired by how they’ve opened the doors of education up for everyone! It’s been so rewarding to see so many people pursuing their learning and publishing their progress online—from passionate violinists to future entrepreneurs, Accredible users prove that education from all walks and paths is powerful, transformative, and inspiring.

Cheers, to always learning more!

Alan Heppenstall & Danny King, founders of Accredible, were guests on College Smart Radio “Tackling the Runaway Costs of College,” on August 16th, 2013.  Listen to this broadcast on YouTube here.

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