By Lulu Fakhriyah

This article was originally published on CIPS.

When we talk about the evolution of information technology, humans are categorized into two groups, the Digital Native and the Digital Immigrant generation. The two terms were brought up by Marc Prensky, an American writer, refering to those who were born into the age of digital technology which is already thriving – and for whom technolog has become second nature (usually those born before the 2000s). And those who were born before the technological boom, and who still need to orient themselves with new technologies.

Since the emergence of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), we now can see the role of digital technology to create innovation in the educational field. Professor and advisor on education, Ken Robinson, revealed that for the past 500 years, the only significant change in education was the existence of textbooks. But now after MOOC became popular when Harvard, MIT, and Stanford introduced edX and Coursera around 2012, these platforms have attracted more than three million participants all over the world.

In Indonesia, the challenge for MOOCs is to draw the attention of internet users. In the middle of 2016, some of online course websites such as FOCUS Fisipol UGM or MOOCs Universitas Terbuka has gotten tens of thousands visitors, while IndonesiaX reached the number of 140 thousands visitors.

MOOC has a big chance to evolve in Indonesia and help people, especially the digital generation, in order to experience the university learning system.

In fact, MOOC has a big chance to evolve in Indonesia and help people, especially the digital generation, in order to experience the university learning system. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), there are only 8% of Indonesians who hold a degree in tertiary education. It shows that we are still way left behind compared to the other countries such as United States (44%) and Germany (27%).

Digital technology, especially smartphones, can be a good choice to facilitate access to education in Indonesia as we live in more than 6000 islands. The number of smartphone users in Indonesia is expected to grow from 52 million to 87 million in 2017. This would be a great opportunity for MOOCs that can be accessed on smartphones.

Now, CIPS is developing MOOC platform that provides course about  the food trade in Indonesia with four core topics such as Indonesian Agriculture, Regional Value Chains, Political Economy of the Indonesian Agriculture and Domestic Consumption. The course will be delivered by Arianto Patunru, a fellow at the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University and Yose Rizal Damuri, Head of Department of Economics at Center for Strategics and International Studies, the experts in each topic. The course can be accessed in mid-July.

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