Jan 242012

George Siemens reflects on Sebastian Thrun's decision of leaving Stanford University to start Udacity.

"I have a long running question that influences my vision of education: If we were to design education today, without the legacy baggage of the existing system, what would it look like? I don’t have a clear answer, but I think it would look similar to open online courses: distributed, leveraging network effects, participative, peer/social pedagogy, large scale sensemaking, artifact creation and sharing, knowledge growth and domain expansion, etc. There is substance to massive open online courses (MOOCs) that goes well beyond the current buzz and hype. This substance, I believe, is about aligning teaching and learning with the way in which information is created, negotiated, and shared through digital and social networks. It is in direct contrast with the value proposition of the current university system."

Open online courses really mess things up. The force educators/funders/learners to question the value point of traditional education. Over the past four years, many different open online courses have been offered – some through formal universities (U of Manitoba – Stephen Downes and I, BYU – David Wiley, U of Regina – Alec Couros, Stanford – Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig, U of Illinois -Ray Schroeder).
I have a long running question that influ…

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