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Forthcoming Education Revolution ?


Sensible Head

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sauntersplash

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I came across this today.

Do online courses spell the end for the traditional university? | Education | The Observer

I've done OU courses online myself and had heard of MIT's initiative as well; MITx: MIT's new online learning initiative

What do people think? Have you had any experiences?

I'm a firm believer in education benefits all and a bit of an evangelist for adult education post degreee; you know when we all troop off to work and our creativity atrophies.
Perhaps eventually, but not for a long, long time. Like most areas of life in the first world these days, formal education is mostly about excluding the majority of people for the retention of status. I've studied at all kinds of third level institutions from the top to the bottom of the scale (for Ireland) and the quality of information imparted really doesn't vary all that much in my experience. It's not about the information, information is available to everyone now. It's about maintaining the illusion of an ineffable ability in manipulating information.

There's no reason why somebody should spend twelve years studying to become a proctologist. Apart from the fact that existing proctologists don't want everybody to become a proctologist, there's no reason why a two year "conversion" profossional grad. dip. in proctology couldn't be offered.

Just look at the state of the law industry in Ireland now. Once upon a time lawyers in this country were venerated like medical doctors, nowadays 75% arts graduate seems to qualify as a solicitor or barrister with little difficulty. It's about the money, it's all about the money and controlling access to keep hold of it.
 

stopdoingstuff

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Yes, a la Sauntersplash, I do expect the vested interests to be broadly against a lot of these developments. However, the technologies remove so much cost and create so much efficiency that they will not be resisted for too long. It's about time too.
 
D

Dylan2010

there has been too much of a switch away from apprenticeships. You could close down most of the business schools in Ireland and it wouldnt effect how the education is delivered. In fact if I wanted for example an accountant doing by books I'd prefer one that had gone to a firm at 18 and trained along the way compared to someone do didnt see a real set of books until they are in their mid 20's, so bring on online learning
 

Sensible Head

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What really interests me is if the technology becomes the big force. After all it's fair to say the internet has already revolutionized the world. It's interesting in the article that they talk about a year of disruption, think of how Amazon CDWoW etc put people out of business.
 

Dan_Murphy

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It really depends on the subject I think.

A lot of subjects, for example programming software, is all about establishing a mode of thinking and good design philosophy rather than the syntax of the languages themselves. Learn one language paradigm and you can easily enough learn any language that uses it, and if you have a good attitude to designing solid programs then I think you will do alright with experience.

Think about it this way: In a world where knowledge is more freely available than it has ever been in the history of mankind, do you really need to spend 4 years surrounded by drunken teenagers to learn? Absolutely not.

The software industry is already acutely aware of this, only a matter or time before other industries jump on board.

I personally like doing the courses on Udacity | Free Online Courses. Advance your College Education & Career :)
 

Barnsleyfc

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Hopefully this does come to pass.Third level is merely becoming a filler of time for a lot of people who do pointless courses due to the absence of a jobs market.
I would love to see the amount of money that's wasted on people who go for a year and drop out who went simply because it looked good in court/would be great craic/better money on the grant than the dole where they'd probably cost less)
The reputation of third level is dwindling all the time due to these factors and the fact that majority of graduates have little job prospects(admittedly not always the educational sector's fault)
Imo this could be a massive step forward in the future as the majority of lecture and course materials are already available on-line.
 

aldiper

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Sensible Head,

There was a thread on this back in Feb (or there about's) of this year..think there was a few people who had attempted to do MIT's electrical engineering course, so might be some useful feedback. I know I tried it, for ************************s and giggles..although I didn't get beyond the introductory stuff- too little time, not enough brain cells! The material was very slick, well presented and easy to use, however.

As you can see above, a lot of people are dissatisfied with need for 4 years of time wasting before you can start doing some real work..was a long time in uni myself, hated it. Full time work was a welcome relief! I'd agree with Dylan2010 approach to hiring... much prefer a person with actual practical experience, rather than a head full of half-understood facts.

Albert Einstein said:
The only source of knowledge is experience.
Of course, expect the establishment to resist it to the hilt! But, it'll happen regardless...I hope!
 

aldiper

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Sebastian Thrun, of Google Driverless Car fame has branched into this area with his Udacity platform. You can read more about it here

He left a tenured position in Stanford, saying
“I feel like there’s a red pill and a blue pill... “You can take the blue pill and go back to Stanford…but I’ve taken the red pill and I’ve seen Wonderland. We can really change the world with education."

Mossy, signed up for the edX computer course myself - just hope I can fit it in with work/life etc.
 

Liamog

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Feb 11, 2011
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As a user of Evernote, to capture my online learning, I have had a number of failures syncing with the cloud. this has undermined my confidence in it's long term viability. Has anyone here any similar experiences?
 

aldiper

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If anyone is still interested in pursuing some of these course, I can give this recommendation: the udacity courses in computer programming etc. are ten times easier to follow, better designed and more fun to complete than the edX courses.

I'm half way through the MITx introduction course in computer science and programming and I can honestly say, it's been a struggle, and not because the material is inherently difficult. It's more that the manner in which the course content delivered is far from optimal - but I have picked up some basic skills in writing code in Python. The udacity Python course is far superior however, conveying the crucial information in a far more concise and student friendly manner - with udacity, every thing is explained and the quizzes flow naturally from the material that preceded them. The same cannot be said about the edX courses, where there can be a significant disconnect between the information imparted in the videos and the exercises that (supposedly) test your understanding of the same material - this is very frustrating when you're trying to learn new (and challenging) material.

All and all, I'm very impressed with the fact that material of this quality is available free of charge - it's a great time to be a geek! :D
 

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