As a keen follower of all things edtech you will likely have noticed that MOOC platforms like Udacity and now Coursera are moving away from classic higher education subjects and increasingly into tech skills. Startups like Udemy served that vertical early on. If you think about it, it is somewhat a self-fulfilling prophecy that a Silicon Valley startup is serving the ecosystem it exists in.
There is a lot of activity around the Online Learning, MOOC, Hybrid Learning space in India. A number of leading universities have started their own MOOC’s (IITBX, IIMB) and are offering open access to their content to students.
A High-Stakes Feedback Loop
There are twin, parallel forces slowly severing learning from American education.
If it seems contradictory that “learning” could somehow be separate from “education” (one is the purpose of the other), consider that standards for credentialing overwhelmingly rely on time spent in an educational environment (school attendance) and discrete performance indicators (standardized tests). Possibly no one explains the fundamental gap in our priorities more eloquently than Sir Ken Robinson in his TED Talk.
Despite their best efforts, neither of these measures of education guarantees learning; more alarmingly, neither is immune to the interference of grade inflation and school athletics. Continue reading
The upcoming shutdown of Livemocha comes hardly as a surprise; one could argue that the language learning community has been on life support for almost three years after its acquisition by Rosetta Stone. One Twitter user stated that Rosetta Stone simply left Livemocha dying in a ditch.
Yet, pulling the plug for good is always a moment of reflection and essentially a point of no return.
The terms “the Uberfication of Education” or “Uber for Tutors” are currently on top of my list when it comes to edtech buzzword bingo. While it surely sounds cool the problem is that most people simply don’t understand what a complete Uberfication would look like.