Kanyi Maqubela surveys the landscape of online education and explores some of the challenges that emerging online educational platforms face. He points out that the current users of many of these platforms are largely the educational elite and not necessarily the people most in need of alternatives to expensive, traditional university education. One reason for this is that the new platforms have yet to overcome a major hurdle to competing with traditional educational institutions: providing meaningful credentials to their students.
The challenge of credentialing is a topic that is receiving a lot of attention in the discourse on online education. Salman Khan talked about it at the All Things D Conference and hinted that this was something that the folks at Khan Academy were hard at work on. One thing that will help these platforms provide meaningful credentials is reputation. So if you like the idea of people having affordable alternatives to traditional university degrees, talk about these platforms. Tell your friends and your boss and maybe one day you will hire someone with a Skillshare or a Khan Academy degree.