The Peer 2 Peer University announced its second round of free and open online courses today, opening sign-ups for 14 courses dealing in subject areas ranging from Physics to Transformational Art. Some of the courses were offered in the first phase of the pilot which launched last September, but seven are brand new, including “Urban Disaster Risk Management,” “Mashing Up the Open Web,” and “Solve Anything! Building Ideas through Design.” P2PU is also excited to announce its first Portuguese language courses organized by Brasil’s Casa de Cultura Digital, one of which is an introduction to the thinking of Paulo Freire (educational theorist who is author of Pedagogy of the Oppressed). The P2PU community has grown and is excited to have these new courses and their organizers on board.
One of P2PU’s new community members, Fulbright Scholar at the Vienna University of Technology, Vivek Rao, talks about what made him volunteer to design and run his own course,
“When I learned Calculus with a college library group or picked up the latest Photoshop tricks from my coworkers, it wasn’t about teaching, it was about sharing. That’s the most natural way I learn–sharing with peers out of curiosity. To me, P2PU is all about embracing this type of learning through sharing via a very accessible platform. Now I’m looking forward to share what I know as course organizer of “Solve Anything! Building Ideas through Design,” and keep pushing the P2PU platform ahead.”
Since last November’s workshop in Berlin, a few changes have taken place at P2PU. P2PU is still run and governed by volunteers, but the P2PU Council, with the support of the community, has elected Philipp Schmidt as its representing Director. Philipp is one of the co-founders of the project, as well as a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow, which enables him to devote himself full time to P2PU. On becoming Director, Philipp says, “We have proven that the model works and are seeing tremendous interest from people all over the world to learn together. I am very excited to help guide the project through the next phase of growth and the opportunity to work with the inspiring and talented volunteers that make P2PU so special.”
When asked how P2PU will affect the education landscape, Council member Delia Browne says, “P2PU will revolutionize how people learn. It will help create a global open culture of learning for the 21st century.”
The P2PU community consists of a diverse group of people. They are writers, teachers, designers, doctoral and alternative grad students, artists, copyright specialists, scientists, and blues guitar players. Above all, they are learners–peers working together to learn from each other.
Sign-ups for all courses are available at http://www.p2pu.org/course/list. Deadlines for sign-ups are 28, Feb 2010. The second pilot phase will run for six weeks from 12 March to 23 April. Each course application may require additional information. See