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Thread: Free Online Education is Now Illegal in Minnesota

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    Free Online Education is Now Illegal in Minnesota

    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the state has decided to crack down on free education, notifying California-based startup Coursera that it is not allowed to offer its online courses to the state’s residents. Coursera, founded by Stanford computer science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, partners with top-tier universities around the world to offer certain classes online for free to anyone who wants to take them. You know, unless they happen to be from Minnesota.

    A policy analyst for the state’s Office of Higher Education told The Chronicle that Minnesota is simply enforcing a longstanding state law requiring colleges to get the government’s permission to offer instruction within its borders. She couldn’t say whether other online education startups like edX and Udacity were also told to stay out.



    Minnesota bans Coursera: State takes bold stand against free education.

    According to Minnesota's Office of Higher Education, it isn't the fact that it's free and online that Minnesota finds problematic...it's the fact that the universities who offer these free courses through Coursera haven't obtained permission or paid the $1,200 application fee. Nevertheless, if free online education providers have to pay a shakedown fee to every local, state, or national government that wants to shake them down, it will be very financially difficult for them to operate.

    Seems like Minnesota needs to update its laws for the 21st century.
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    Re: Free Online Education is Now Illegal in Minnesota

    Wow! Minnesota has just given itself an awesome black eye...
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    Re: Free Online Education is Now Illegal in Minnesota

    I think this is excessive, especially if a given group does not proclaim to be offering "diplomas" or whatever other equivalent.
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    Re: Free Online Education is Now Illegal in Minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by Diogenes View Post
    Wow! Minnesota has just given itself an awesome black eye...

    You can't tax something that's free can you? What 39.5% of 0?
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    Re: Free Online Education is Now Illegal in Minnesota

    Good Luck enforcing that law.

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    Re: Free Online Education is Now Illegal in Minnesota

    For ****'s sake. I bet the same douchebags going after this will try to use the increasing costs of education for their political campaigns too. ****ing assholes.
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    Re: Free Online Education is Now Illegal in Minnesota

    This makes an argument to get education out of the hands of government.
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    Re: Free Online Education is Now Illegal in Minnesota

    This, I think, is going to be the next revolution in education. Even some as simple as youtube is invaluable whenever I need to do some light plumbing or need to learn how to do something ASAP.

    With websites such as this: Learn to code | Codecademy popping up everywhere.

    Just popping up everywhere, I am hoping the next evolution is the growth of certification vs degrees in employer acceptance. Who cares how I learned something if I am verified to know it.

    Education would be so much cheaper and darn near free if it wasn't for employers getting in the way.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 10-20-12 at 08:15 AM.

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    Free Online Education is Now Illegal in Minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by code1211 View Post
    You can't tax something that's free can you? What 39.5% of 0?
    Apparently the answer is $1200.
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    Re: Free Online Education is Now Illegal in Minnesota

    The authorities in Minnesota cannot possibly enforce this ban. The Coursera courses offer no certification, hence there can be no fraud or damage. Saying people cannot watch an online lecture, or write a passage or essay cannot possibly be prevented. They clearly don't understand what the sire is offering.

    Btw, just signed up for a Coursera history course. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!
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