Reddit, the “front page of the internet”, as tagged by them, is an open education forum where the visitors can gather knowledge about diverse subjects. The users, who are known as the redditors, write about different topics and also create sub-reddits. They have formed UReddit as well, which is basically known as the University of Reddits.
|Image via CrunchBase|
In the UReddit section of this particular social networking site, the students can learn about various issues of their interests but there are no trained professors to teach them. This is an open forum and therefore anyone is eligible to teach a subject to anybody who is interested in learning that. This feature of Reddit makes it totally different from the MOOCs, i.e. the Massive Open Online Courses, where the subjects are taught by conventional professors.
Blooming Popularity of Reddit
|Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian with the Reddit Alien (Photo credit: Anirudh Koul)|
The founders of Reddit, Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, tried to go against the standards of higher education. Reddit is a platform where the students are eligible to learn and know about anything which grabs their attention and makes them excited. However, this is seldom possible in the schools or colleges where we need to learn things we do not like. This idea behind the site excelled in grabbing the attention of almost 75,000 people who have already registered to this site for over 100 different courses.
Although Reddit has nothing to do with the traditional professors, still due to so much of hype about the website, Dr. Philip Bishop, one of the professors of University of South Florida, could see something relevant out of this. He, therefore, have started his web-only classes on UReddit for his freshmen students. With the help of this website, he shares videos and various discussion forums with the students.
Due to the budding popularity of the site, two of the pioneers of Reddit, Anastas Stoyanovsky and Elliot Volkman, have already launched a kick starter campaign in order to raise funds for the development of the website. This way they intend to help the students by providing them with searchable transcripts, and have also termed their project as an ‘open compass’ which is absolutely different from edX and Coursera.
Professor Bishop, along with his colleague Mr. K. Edward Renner, believes that this open forum of learning and teaching is nonetheless a great step towards education. However, the only drawback, according to them, is the fact that it is quite impossible to track the number of students visiting the site and also because the site includes discussions and topics about video games, like StarCraft, it is lacking in credibility.