Posted by: crudbasher | January 24, 2012

When Teachers Become Rock Stars

(cc) Zed The Dragon


I am putting together a list of characteristics of how I think learning will take place in 10 years. One of items on the list is that teachers will have a higher profile than they do now. Students will pick a class because of the teacher and they will have many more choices than they do now. Basically the best teachers will be rock stars.

Here’s a teacher who is the prototype of this idea. He recently created a massive online class on AI which had over 100,000 people sign up to take it. It was so successful he’s leaving Stanford to teach at an education startup doing the same thing but on a larger scale.

Folks, he had a safe job for life at Stanford. What does he know that we don’t?


By the way, this story comes from Hack Education, which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite sources of education information. Check it out if you haven’t already.

  • Stanford prof leaving for edu startup

    tags: education startup stanford AI innovative nell

    • It’s news that shouldn’t surprise anyone that read the fine print on the registration for Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence class offered last fall: Professor Stanford Thrun has announced he is resigning from the university to launch an online learning startup.

      Unlike the Machine Learning and Database classes — the other two in the trio of Stanford’s free online engineering classes last fall — the Artificial Intelligence class was run by Know Labs in partnership with the university.

      Know Labs has now rebranded to Udacity, and this will be site where Thrun will offer his online CS courses, separate from the Stanford University umbrella.

    • The first class that’s to be offered is CS 101: Build a Search Engine. “Learn programming in seven weeks,” the website promises.
    • It also looks like a class on Programming a Robotic Car is in the works. (Thrun led the development of Google’s self-driving car.)
    • Thrun describes the popularity and success of the Stanford AI class — so successful, in fact, that the “physical class at Stanford… dwindled from 200 students to 30 students because the online course was more intimate and better at teaching than the real-world course on which it was based.”
    • Nonetheless, the move “off-campus,” if you will, raises a lot more questions about what the role of the university will be in offering (low-cost or free) lesson-in-law-in-laws and in offering certification. Those students who successfully completed the AI class received a letter of recognition from Thrun and Google’s Peter Norvig, who co-taught the class, and it appears according to language in the site’s Terms of Service as though the “credit” for the new classes at Udacity will work the same way.
    • Thrun hopes to enroll 500,000 students in this first class.

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


  1. […] background-position: 50% 0px; background-color:#222222; background-repeat : no-repeat; } – Today, 7:03 […]

  2. Having taken his class and been on the chat boards, it seems like people preferred the machine learning class. Many comments on how Know Labs didn’t have a together system and that the Stanford system (running the machine learning class) was way better.

    I thought the class was good. I think they still need to shed the idea of everyone taking it and progressing at the same time. Perhaps they will now that they have one in the bank. Not much stopping them, start whenever you want progress at your own pace.

  3. […] background-position: 50% 0px; background-color:#222222; background-repeat : no-repeat; } – Today, 7:34 […]

  4. I followed 160,000 Artificial Intellegence class .
    Thrun is just a genious.

    How in the world he collects all those people in short time .
    160,000 was big, 500,000 is even bigger.

    That shows a revolution is needed in education .
    Education is not done in schools .

  5. […] I wrote about this already. (see When Teachers Become Rockstars) […]

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