As you may recall, Minnesota took a bold stance against free online education last week. The gist of the situation was that the state wanted to somehow curtail free online education outlets because they hadn’t been given permission to operate within Minnesota’s borders. This reasoning traced back to a decades-old law that was meant to apply to degree-granting institutions. After a day worth of Internet backlash, Minnesota’s Office of Higher Education performed a quick 180 and now supports the use of websites like Coursera.
Larry Pogemiller, director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, explains via Slate:
Obviously, our office encourages lifelong learning and wants Minnesotans to take advantage of educational materials available on the Internet, particularly if they’re free. No Minnesotan should hesitate to take advantage of free, online offerings from Coursera.
He goes on to say that he’ll work to “update the statute” in order to more evenly apply to current circumstances, like that newfangled Internet.
- Minnesota’s original stance was pretty archaic
- Minnesota’s not exactly known for supporting education
- This is a giant observatory made up like R2-D2