A Revolution in Higher Education is Underway

Post de ontem do blog do Prof. Marl Perry (mjperry.blogspot.com):

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A Revolution in Higher Education is Underway

 

A few days ago, I reported on how MITx could revolutionize higher education by offering free online classes along with a new benefit: credentials. Beginning this spring, students will be able to take free, online courses from MIT, and if they prove they’ve learned the materi­al through an assessment, they can pay a fee and receive a certificate from MITx.

In a related recent development, Felix Salmon and The Chronicle of Higher Education report this week that Stanford University professor Sebastian Thrun, who taught an online artificial intelligence course to more than 160,000 students in the fall through Stanford, has given up his tenured teaching position there to go full-time with Udacity, a new start-up firm he co-founded that offers low-cost online classes.

From The Chronicle:

“Mr. Thrun told the crowd at the Digital–Life–Design conference in Munich, Germany that his move was motivated in part by teaching practices that evolved too slowly to be effective. During the era when universities were born, “the lecture was the most effective way to convey information. We had the industrialization, we had the invention of celluloid, of digitial media, and, miraculously, professors today teach exactly the same way they taught a thousand years ago,” he said.

He concluded by telling the crowd that he couldn’t continue teaching in a traditional setting. “Having done this, I can’t teach at Stanford again,” he said.

One of Udacity’s first offerings will be a seven-week course called “Building a Search Engine.” It will be taught by David Evans, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Virginia and a Udacity partner. Mr. Thrun said it is designed to teach students with no prior programming experience how to build a search engine like Google. He hopes 500,000 students will enroll.

Teaching the course at Stanford, Mr. Thrun said, showed him the potential of digital education, which turned out to be a drug that he could not ignore.

“I feel like there’s a red pill and a blue pill,” he said. “And you can take the blue pill and go back to your classroom and lecture your 20 students. But I’ve taken the red pill, and I’ve seen Wonderland.”

Watch his talk here.  More evidence that the revolution in higher education in underway.
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