Posted by: crudbasher | September 7, 2011

Is This The Model That Disrupts Traditional Higher Education?

(cc) marcp_dmoz

They say when you write a blog post, the title is the most important thing. 🙂 While the title of this post might a subject of a little hyperbole, this company I have been following has some amazing potential I think.

Skillshare is a company that takes anyone who wants to teach, provides an online platform, and connects them up with students in a very low cost way. In fact it’s around $20 dollars a class. You don’t get college credit for it of course, but is that a problem?

it goes back to the fundamental question of school. What is the purpose of it? If it is to get credits and a credential, then Skillshare isn’t a school. If it is to learn things then it most definitely is a school and a very disruptive one at that.

Keep in mind one important thing: the ones who determine what the purpose of school is are the students themselves. They are the ones who will be deciding how to allocate resources to learn. I have mentioned from time to time that we are about to enter a golden age of learning. This doesn’t mean that colleges are going to be flush with money, actually the exact opposite. Learning will be finally freed from the expensive edifices we have created. it’s kind of like church I think. You don’t have to go to church to have a relationship with God. In the middle ages people thought you did. Then came the Enlightenment.

Could we perhaps think of the modern higher education system as the middle age church system? Hmmm…

I understand posts like this can provoke some strong opinions, however I am interested in hearing your comments!

  • Disruptive low cost class offerings

    tags: education technology disruptive skillshare nell college innovative

    • Skillshare is hoping to turn the average person with a bit of know-how into a teacher. The service, based in New York, lets people sign up to teach and attend short classes that touch on subjects as diverse as beer tasting, photography, programming and making baby food from scratch.
    • Mike Karnjanaprakorn, one of the founders of the company and its chief executive, said he hoped Skillshare would broaden access to classroom learning and education, much as Airbnb expanded the accommodations market for adventurous travelers.
    • “We can use the Web to democratize learning and make it affordable and accessible to anyone,” he said.
    • The company, which got off the ground in early April, has been heavily focused on expanding its community of teachers and students. The service now has 600 teachers signed up to offer classes. Recently the service introduced a review-based system so people can leave comments on teachers and classes. In addition, the site now has social features that let people “follow” teachers and subjects they like to stay abreast of when new seminars are added.
    • The average class costs around $20.
    • some teachers are able to make upward of $1,000 per class that they teach through the site.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


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