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The End of College Education?

Recently, I wrote about how anyone can use Khan Academy to obtain a top class math education from the basics to advanced calculus. The handwriting is now on the wall for over-priced college education. Just as the Internet has been a great equalizer for independent journalism, it is now poised to do the same for education – even college education. Sebastian Thrun, a prominent Standford professor is aiming to do just that. This Forbes article describes his vision for a college degree available for only $100 that anyone anywhere in the world can obtain.

His education initiative Udacity is now online. You can see the course offerings here. While it doesn’t offer many courses yet, his vision is bold, and he has the credentials to make it happen. While online learning has been with us for awhile, a major stumbling block has been certification. That obstacle will soon be overcome, and Udacity may just pave the way.

The other major innovation by Udacity is integrating the course material into real world problems and their solutions. Instead of long, isolated, boring lectures, you actually work on a project as part of the course, learning what you need to know along … Read the rest

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Following Your Passions

Steve Jobs was best known as a man who followed his passions.  With his recent passing, I found a commencement speech that he gave to Stanford University graduates provided an interesting view on his accomplishments. In his speech he reflected on his life, his successes and his failures. You can either view his address or read the transcript here. It is worthwhile reading or viewing.

Gary North recently wrote about his own impressions on Job’s speech. I have some of my own observations to offer as well.

Education

Regarding college education, Jobs found it to be:

  • extremely expensive
  • most of the courses to be of little value yet required in order to graduate
  • some courses were very useful and could be taken for free if not concerned with getting credit for them

These observations mirror my own regarding college. Now I know that education, especially college education is considered to be sacrosanct in this country, yet I find its value¬†similar to what Jobs found it to be. The sole reason to pay for an expensive college education is not for the education value, but for the piece of paper that opens doors into the job market. The truth is, … Read the rest

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