If you’ve been around the Internet for a while you’ll know about Reddit.com, which is one of the most successful online communities in the known universe. The folks there are famous for their wit, generosity and heartfelt attitudes, as well as an ability to hang out with some very important people. What you may not know, however, is the community has branched out into online education, run for free and even stretching out into real world tuition.
The University of Reddit started in a humble subreddit (or forum for the uninitiated) as a place where expert Redditors could help others by teaching them various free classes. The classes are built around the same Reddit open source software and so take the structure of a forum, but instead of random chat about things, the discussions take the form of classes incorporating video links, images and discourse.
Although the whole enterprise is not officially sponsored by Reddit itself, it’s taken an interesting turn since a few months ago the university (which offers no official degrees or recognized certification yet by the way) branched out with its very first real world lecturer. Dr Philip Bishop from the University of South Florida, has incorporated his UReddit philosophy class with his real world college classes, which is something of a breakthrough in the concept of education for all.
It’s a fantastic experiment, and we really hope it does well and encourages other educational establishments to make the move towards a more inclusive (i.e. not prohibitively expensive) mode of teaching. In the meantime, we may just saunter over and sign up for a Fun and Games class on Beginning to Knit: The Basics.