An Explainer Post There's an article in this month's Wired Magazine about Khan Academy. The headline speaks volumes -- " How Khan Academy Is Changing the Rules of Education " -- as do the responses I've seen to the article.
<img alt="Matthew Carpenter, age 10, has completed 642 inverse trigonometry problems at KhanAcademy.org." src="/magazine/wp-content/images/19-08/ff_khan_f.jpg" title="Court Jones caricature of author Ben Austen" width="660" height="440" /> Matthew Carpenter, age 10, has completed 642 inverse trigonometry problems at KhanAcademy.org. Photo: Joe Pugliese “This,” says Matthew Carpenter, “is my favorite exercise.” I peer over his shoulder at his laptop screen to see the math problem the fifth grader is pondering.
Fair warning: This article will piss off a lot of you. I can say that with confidence because it’s about Peter Thiel. And Thiel – the PayPal co-founder, hedge fund manager and venture capitalist – not only has a special talent for making money, he has a special talent for making people furious. Some people are contrarian for the sake of getting headlines or outsmarting the markets. For Thiel, it’s simply how he views the world. Of course a side benefit for the natural contrarian is it frequently leads to things like headlines and money.
I'VE just come across a rather better interview with Peter Thiel than the one in TechCrunch. It is in the National Review online, and covers all sorts of exciting stuff, from seasteading to net neutrality, as well as higher education. Here's the profile of Thiel that begins the interview: Peter Thiel may be most famous for his role (portrayed by Wallace Langham in The Social Network ) as the venture capitalist who gave “The Facebook” the angel investment it needed to really launch. Before that, Thiel was known in Silicon Valley circles as the “Don of the PayPal mafia,” (his official role at the e-commerce site was founder and CEO), and more generally for his centrality as an investor in tech startups.
ON September 2nd 2010 I wrote a mischievous column (" Declining by degree ") likening America's universities to its car companies in about 1950: on top of the world and about to take an almighty fall. Since then I have heard the argument dismissed and denounced by the presidents of Harvard, Princeton and New York University. John Sexton, NYU's affable president, even likened me to a member of the tea party, for which there is no more damning condemnation in academic circles.
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Flickr:AllHails At the star-studded Harvard Initiative on Learning and Teaching (HILT) event earlier this month, where professors gathered to discuss innovative strategies for learning and teaching, Harvard’s professor Eric Mazur gave a talk on the benefits of practicing peer instruction in class, rather than the traditional lecture. The idea is getting traction.
Flickr: Dexterwas How will college life be different in five years than it is today? In its recently released 2012 NMC Horizon Report on Higher Education , New Media Consortium predicts there may be more gesture-based computing, and lots of inter-connected (and Internet-connected) objects packed with useful information. Video games will become more commonplace in classrooms, and Big Data will drive big decisions on the part of students, faculty, and the foundations and companies in the education sphere. The Horizon Report crystallizes a lot of what we’re witnessing in education. But one notable category isn’t addressed in this otherwise comprehensive report: how open education resources — mostly free, customizable, content — is disrupting higher ed , allowing teachers to create their own textbooks , and changing state policy on using print books (more on this later.)
Flickr:Orange42 By Shelly Blake-Plock Imagine if schools were judged not by how well students achieved while they were in school, but in how well they achieved once they left. If schools saw their worth not in how many kids got accepted to college, but in how many kids went on to live meaningful and engaged lives and who would point back to their school years as the point of relevancy that was the foundation of it all.
At last week’s SXSW interactive conference, blogger Betsy Corcoran of EdSurge convened a panel discussion among venture capitalists on the future of education technology: “ Classroom 2020: VCs and the Education Revolution ”. Participants included Mitch Kapor of Kapor Capital, Phillip Bronner of Novak Biddle Venture Partners and Rob Hutter of LearnCapital . Education startups are “hot” right now, with stories on TechCrunch , big funding rounds and pop culture attention . But what really matters is not tech hype, but the need: Better solutions for schools, universities and workplace training.
Michael Staton is the founder of Inigral , which develops social software for student recruitment and higher education retention. Inigral recently brought on the first PRI as a venture investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and has been named one of the top 10 innovative companies in education by Fast Company. In 2011, entrepreneurs and startup activity sprouted up everywhere.
Flex Academy By Kyle Palmer Every weekday, Chanel Hines commutes from Walnut Creek across the Bay Bridge to an office building in downtown San Francisco.
" Street Math", School Math, and Video Games " The children were absolute number wizards when they were at their market stalls, but virtual dunces when presented with the same arithmetic problems presented in a typical school format. " - Dr. Keith Devlin Editor's Note: My 8th grade daughter and I were talking the other day about school and there seemed to be an easy flow talking just about everything she was learning (one of those great moments), except when it came to Math, where it hit a wall.
March 1, 2012 by mrkaiser208 Surely you remember hearing your own teachers say that. The class would be reading, and a student would come across an unfamiliar word, raise a hand and ask for the definition. Asking what the word meant often resulted in the teacher pointing toward the neatly stacked dictionaries in the corner of the room.
February 2, 2012 by tomwhitby A personal observation: Back when I began my early education, the year was 1952. I don’t believe Pre-K even existed back then, so I started my education in Kindergarten.