Software Eats Education: An Audacious Undertaking

 

I also recognize that education methods have not fundamentally changed in hundreds—possibly even thousands—of years. The core learning structure has always been and remains one teacher and a limited number of students. This structure reduces learning opportunities for much of the world’s population (even in first-world countries) and limits the impact of the best educators to no more than a few dozen lucky individuals a year.

But it doesn’t have to continue like this. From a business perspective, this is a supply and demand problem in that the demand for quality education is not being met by an adequate supply of learning opportunities. From a technology perspective, this is a problem that can now be solved with software. From a societal perspective, there should be alarm bells going off for everyone that this is an issue that requires our boldest ideas and brightest minds.

And that’s why we’re so excited to announce our investment in Udacity, a team and company that we’re absolutely convinced will change the world. We believe the next big disruptive trend in software will focus on education and we feel that this is the team that will lead the way.

Let’s start with what Udacity does. By leveraging the economics of the Internet, Udacity aims to democratize education by delivering world-class coursework to hundreds of thousands of students everywhere. There’s no doubt that online learning will radically shift the economics of education.  Udacity has the magic formula because they are combining their platform with their content to make learning highly interactive, targeted and instantly available to students around the world.

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Read the whole thing.

One thought on “Software Eats Education: An Audacious Undertaking

  1. Frank Eggers

    I question the effectiveness of using lectures as the primary means to impart knowledge. If a student misses something during a lecture, it is forever gone. Exacerbating the problem is note taking which increases the likelihood of missing something during the lecture. It is more efficient to acquire knowledge by reading since if a student doesn’t understand something, he can always re-read it. In fact, he can read the material several times if it is difficult to understand. An obvious exception would be students who are just learning to read and cannot learn to read simply by reading.

    In general, classes should be used to enable students to discuss what they have already read, under the guidance of a skilled instructor. That interaction can help clear up things which students have missed during their reading and help move the material into long-term memory. It can also be a time for the students and instructor to relate to the class any interesting personal experience they have had with the subject.

    Reply

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