After watching his 11-year-old son take online courses at Stanford University, Forbes' Joshua Gans comes to the conclusion that online education is nothing more than watching "a bunch of videos on the Internet" that are rather dull.
So what of the lectures themselves? Professors Jackson and Shoham had done exactly what you would expect. They had taken the Powerpoints slides from their current course and lectured to a camera with their own disembodied heads popping up from time to time. They had divided the course up into chunks so you didn't have to block out two hours at a time to absorb a whole lecture. But that was pretty much it.
And so how did my son react to those? He commented, "I think the concepts are interesting but the presentation is dull. Couldn't they have done animations and things to make it better?" He had a point. Compared to educational videos he had watched these were extraordinarily dull. As I took a look through his eyes, I could see what the problem was: they were exactly like most university lectures. They slowly and methodically take you through the material. Sometimes in a classroom a professor might react to a question with an interesting story or clarifying anecdote. But for these online versions, they were all business. My son asked whether University was really like this and I was sad to say that, in the main, yes it was. More to the point, if you were to ask a current University student what they thought of these videos they would likely think of them as wonderful. After all, this is what they were getting in class but could now pick and choose where and when to attend. They would see the liberation. But for an 11 year old, there was a more demanding standard and, on many levels, a standard worth respecting.
|"Sitting on a beach in Thailand and participating in conference in Stockholm by remote-controlling an ipad on a stick on wheels."|
|Bitcoin is Poised to Change Society Much More Than the Internet Did|
|Robotic Bees to Replace Organic Pollinators|
|The Vaults Are For Real, Not Just in Fallout|
|“The promise of quasi-infinite and free energy is here.”|
|“The static fire is one of the last major tests prior to the maiden launch.”|
|“World's first passenger drone.”|
|Ubuntu 17.10 Artful "What the Fuck" Aardvark|
|“People are getting rid of their cash.”|
|Pat the Zombie: A Cruel Adult Spoof of 'Pat the Bunny'|
|Naked Preacher Lady [NSFW]|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“Changes to the platform announced by Zuckerberg, will likely make the problem worse.”|
|“Some of us will do anything to be liked.”|
|“AI codes its own ‘AI Child’.”|
|“The first-ever driverless mass transit test program.”|
|How to Escape Planet Earth|