Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Hacking education (part III)

The title of this post comes from two posts entitled 'Hacking Education' which I read recently.

I referred to the first in my post below. It is written by the venture capitalist Fred Wilson over at www.avc.com.

The second comes from Jeff Jarvis (author of What Would Google Do?)

The fact that venture capitalists are looking to invest in educational ventures is exciting because venture capital has a history of stimulating disruptions by providing the necessary finance to innovative companies.

But I also think that it his post is exciting as he sums up the opportunities that technology offers education
The tools to do this are right in front of us; peer production, collaboration, social networking, web video, voip, open source, even game play. I think we can look at what has happened to the big media institutions over the past ten years as a guide to how to do this...We all have to start participating and engaging in educating each other.
As I outlined before, money alone cannot change things. However Jeff Jarvis sees increasing pressure in both supply and demand:
I’m one among many who believe that there are huge opportunities in education, not just to change and improve it but to find new business opportunities. That’s true especially now, as the economic crisis forces people to reconsider and change paths.

Who needs a university when we have Google? All the world’s digital knowledge is available at a search. We can connect those who want to know with those who know. We can link students to the best teachers for them (who may be fellow students). We can find experts on any topic. Textbooks need no longer be petrified on pages but can link to information and discussion; they can be the products of collaboration, updated and corrected, answering questions and giving quizzes, even singing and dancing. There’s no reason my children should be limited to the courses at one school; even now, they can get coursework online from no less than MIT and Stanford.
However for a true reflection of the potential for education to be 'hacked', I think this video says it perfectly on so many levels


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