During September and October Public Diplomacy Officer Yuki Kondo-Shah and Bolivian Fulbright Alumna Monica Flores led a class using new technologies, like Google Plus Hangouts, to introduce Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to a group of undergraduate business students in Bolivia. These weekly classes were part of the second Massive Open Online Classes, or MOOC pilot program organized by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and facilitate by State Alumni. La Paz was one of 36 posts around the world using MOOC in public diplomacy to introduce American higher education to a global audience and provide anyone with internet access an opportunity for tuition free learning from universities and academic institutions around the world.
Daniel M. – student in the class:
“It was pretty comfortable. It was pretty easy to access. I studied from my home, from caffees, from everywhere I want to”
Embassy La Paz partnered with Bolivian Catholic University to facilitate the class, “Foundations of Business Strategy”, a MOOC taught by Professor Michael Lenox at the University of Virgina.
Alejandra B.E. – student in the class:
“So I wanted to know more about how to launch my business and this course helped me to position my business more in the market and know where, like, how the industry is working right now.”
MOOC led by state alumni and embassy public affairs section fulfill multiple public diplomacy goals including youth outreach, encouraging study abroad in the United States, and allowing embassy community members to share their professional expertise. MOOCs will become an integral part of the Embassy La Paz contributions to the 100,000 strong initiative to encourage more academic exchange between the US and countries of Latin America.