Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Special Blog Assignment

A World Where Grades Will be Left Behind
online education
In this article of USA TODAY, Mary Beth Marklein writes about an education that will be free and available to anyone that wants it. She describes it as being related to something like a whimsical playground: no one is late for class, failure is not an option, and a lesson looks a little something like Crazy Birds. Sebastian Thrun, a 45 year-old vice president of Google and Stanford research professor, states that "you want learning to be as much fun as it is to play a video game". Thrun is the founder of Udacity, the education company, after teaching a free-online artificial intelligence course that drew more than 160,000 students. This experience was so profound for him that he said he could no longer teach in a traditional Stanford classroom. Udacity is just one of the online start-ups he oversees. Thrun's vision is to develop a catalog of free online courses taught by star professors from around the world. Within Udacity special effects and videos of instructor's hands writing on white boards are being incorporated.

Sal Kahn, a friend of Thrun, has inspired a growing number of schools to 'flip' their classroom. This means having the students study videos at night then complete their homework in the classroom during the day. Basically, it is taking pencils, paper, pens completely out of the classroom and replacing them with a diverse type of technology. There are many schools in the North that have taken on this challenge. There are even some college's that want to make a college education as cheap as a cell phone bill!

Thrun's invention is neither the first or last high-tech invention to revolutionize education. When faced with the question "What will education look like in 30 years?" Thrun says that technology is enabling educators to personalize education and scale it up. In saying that, classes will involve more challenging quizzes to help students master a particular skill, grades wont exist, instruction will be free with the exception of related services.

I feel as if EDM is very similar to this approach. There is no paper in or out, just strictly technology, no grades are given, there were no huge fee's that had to be paid, and it is available to anyone and everyone. This article would not have made much sense to me if it were not for this class. The thought of having no paper, pencils, or books in a classroom sounds completely absurd. However, this class has completely changed my perspective. In saying that, I complete agree that a change in the way we approach education is needed. Technology is the future, and the future is now!

No comments:

Post a Comment