By Mohamed El Dahshan. "Massive Online Open Courses," abbreviated "MOOCs," are being hailed as a potentially revolutionary development in education. Is the Arab World about to miss out? So far, there's only one such course offered in Arabic -- and it's taught by Israel's Technion.
"Nanotechnology and Nanosensors" is taught by Professor Hossam Haick, who's had to deal with far more than he originally bargained for when he talked the head of his department into letting him develop the material for a very technical course in English and in Arabic. "We have to be democratic about choices and education. Education shouldn't be limited to institutions," Haick told me. "It should be open to all." As things stand today, the course in English has over 20,000 students signed up, while the version in Arabic boasts over 4,800 students from across the region and beyond. More...