The first free online planning course, TechniCity, will be offered as part of The Ohio State University’s new Coursera offerings. Coursera offers a platform to teach thousands of students across the globe.
The course explores how the increasing availability of networks, sensors and mobile technologies allows for new approaches to address the challenges that our cities face. It will cover how cities are changing, how technology is used to engage with the public to support decision-making, tools for analyzing the city, the infrastructure that makes the real time city possible, and how creativity can spawn technological innovation.
Geared toward upper-level undergraduate, graduate students and professionals, TechniCity is being taught by myself and Tom Sanchez, professor of urban affairs and planning at Virginia Tech. We were inspired to engage with thousands of people across the globe who share our passion for cities and want to think creatively about how technology can improve our quality of life.
Sanchez notes that "this course covers some of the most fascinating technologies in cities today. The course is also structured to encourage students to look into the future and imagine the new roles that technology will play." We envision the course as an active "virtual salon," or discussion forum, where participants can engage in reasoned debate and polite conversation, while offering criticisms of current technology issues facing the world's cities. Participants will hear technological innovators and thought leaders about course topics, complete assignments and engage in a peer evaluation project of their choosing. Participants successfully completing the course receive a certificate of accomplishment and this course has been submitted for 15 hours of AICP Certification Maintenance credit.
Ohio State University partnered with Coursera in fall 2012 to offer free online courses. Formed by two Stanford University professors, Coursera offers high-quality college-level courses online for free, creating new worldwide learning opportunities. Coursera courses can be taken for free by anyone who signs up by providing an email address. Visit www.coursera.org for more information.