Every once in a while, some news comes down from on high that reveals that the people we’re trusting to lead don’t have a clue about what they’re doing. Now Minnesota’s Office of Higher Education has banned online courses, specifically the excellent suite of free online courses from Coursera.
We do have a law on the books that has the goal of shutting down diploma mills — you shouldn’t get to browse a website and be awarded a Ph.D. in quantum neuroscience. But Coursera doesn’t do that: they don’t issue degrees or even credits, they just provide massive open online courses for free. So you can learn stuff. For free. You don’t go there so you can pretend to learn and get a fancy diploma to hang on your wall, it’s just free information.
This ban is utterly unenforceable and absolutely ludicrous. All you Minnesotans should take your laptop or iPad into the bedroom or bathroom or someplace private, turn off the lights, and browse Coursera — I recommend the biology section, obviously. Oh, look: Rosie Redfield has a course on practical genetics. That should be good. Sign up for something.
Now feel the thrill of being an outlaw. Go commit crimes: learn something.
Hey, maybe the Minnesota OHE is trying reverse psychology on us?