This is a nice example of using virtualization to enhance learning: Repl.it Multiplayer. The site enables you to “code with friends in the same editor, execute programs in the same interpreter, interact with the same terminal, chat in the IDE, edit files and share the same system resources, and ship applications from the same interface.”

You can also find programming courses on the platform. It illustrates the virtues of virtualization: “You can create a workspace in any number of languages, where you are given a container on a virtual machine where your code can run, sandboxed.”

Why would I use it? I have not the time nor the inclination to become a programmer. However, I’m very interested in cyber culture, and programming is part of that. Read some cyberpunk stories and chances are that you’ll encounter coders. These coders tend to be close to the machine, they are rather into C language than into high level languages such as Python. That alone makes me want to learn some basic C. I could use Multiplayer for that (even though you can also experiment with Python on the platform). 

I love to repurpose Moocs such as C Programming: getting started on the edX platform. Not because I will use it for my day job, but because it brings me a bit closer to cyberpunk literature. The same applies for the course Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies on that same platform: I’m not really interested to learn how to trade crypto stuff, I’m attracted by the fact the course will also explore topics such as the Cypherpunk Movement. 

So what I would like to do is to find people interested into internet culture/ cyber culture/ digital humanities, repurpose existing learning materials to fit into a  cyber culture course of our own. We could use platforms such as Multiplayer to play with code, maybe even try out to build data driven art using virtualization technology ourselves (there is a beautiful handbook Teaching and Learning with Jupyter on Github).

It would be a connectivist Mooc for people interested in useless stuff such as philosophy and art, different from the endless offerings of business and job-oriented courses on the mainstream online platforms. 

Hat tip to Stephen Downes, organizer of the Mooc E-learning 3.0, who discussed Repl.it and the Jupyter-course in his newsletter OLDaily.