Every so often, a new way emerges. A way for society to perform critical tasks in ways completely discontinuous from the trends and ways of doing things that came before. There was a time when schooling itself was an amazing innovation. Now, it is expected, and granted as a right. The new way needed is one that helps us use technology in a way that scales amazing teaching and learning experiences. Experiences that heighten learning and enrich lives, and are delivered in efficient and cost effective ways.
Lately, I have been looking at a lot of job postings. I often get excited about a possible opportunity and look at the company and become fascinated with who they are and what they represent.
“My, what I would love to bring to an organization like that, I appreciate their message, their mission. I have experience in what they are asking for and needing.
Oh, they require a college degree. Next…”
My friend has a son who is an exceptional musician, and was recently accepted to one of the most prestigious college music programs in the country. The other weekend my friend went to visit his son, who took him to the music lab to show his dad what he was learning about the science of harmonization, and how music that sounds spontaneous is actually the result of complex scientific principles.
In January 2014 I started my first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) after reading a blogpost on Poets & Quants. I did not know back then this would be the start of the many MOOCs I would complete in the next 10 months. Over the course of these 10 months I learned 3 important things about this new way to gain knowledge:
The higher education landscape will change more in the next ten years than it has in the previous one hundred and fifty. Technology has challenged traditional assumptions about learning, and the proliferation of MOOCs and vocational training programs has led to new choices for aspiring students. Education is undoubtedly becoming more global, with record numbers of students seeking to go abroad for further study. These shifts all point to one truth: students all over the world face an increasing number of choices about what, how, and where to study.
Textbooks have been with us since the dawn of time (or at least it feels that way). They have been researched, tested, reviewed, vetted and used for editions upon editions. But in a world where a first-year college student could have been born in 1996 – the year Derek Jeter won his first World Series – and would have been 11 years old when Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPhone, their expectations are that they will be able to do much more online in their courses than read PDF pages on a screen.
Early rumors of a $75 million round for the anonymous messaging app Yik Yak that were first reported by TechCrunch turned out to be a $62 million round led by Sequoia Capital. Though there is no official statement of the round, TechCrunch dug up the SEC filing yesterday.
It’s the second funding round for Yik Yak this year, having raised a $10 million Series A in June led by DCM.
As cross-dressing sensation Conchita Wurst belted out her Eurovision Song Contest-winning tune across a room filled with Europe’s hottest tech start-ups, I knew it could only mean one thing: the Europas annual awards evening had officially begun. From Berlin came Babbel, who have become one of the world’s leading language learning platforms. Used in 190 countries, with over 25 million app downloads to date, they swept to victory in the education category in exuberant style. However Busuu, Babbel’s nearest rival both in market and geography, reached a staggering 50m users this year, proving that Europe has truly emerged as the home of social language learning.
Great Britain is unusual. Geographically isolated, densely populated, and equally blessed and burdened with a history of “ruling the waves”. The majority of foreign nationals in Britain have always been nationals of the Commonwealth, invited guest workers from earlier in the 20th century.
The history of British power has always stood in contrast to Britain’s political need for close ties with the European Union. And over the last decade, there are two things that have really put a strain on the identity of this country: the economic crisis and the expansion of the European Union. EDUKWEST’s kick-off post on Multilingualism in Europe showed that the second language spoken on this island is now not Punjabi or Welsh, but Polish. As Britain is becoming a more multilingual place, why is education policy not following suit?
When the ancient Greeks decided they wanted to teach a class, they started by simply talking to their students. It was all oral lecture. That worked for awhile, but as humanity’s understanding of the world advanced, the topics became more complicated and they just couldn’t remember it all. So they needed a way to gather together all of the different things people were discovering and talking about.