A Revolution in Higher Education is Underway
From The Chronicle:
"Mr. Thrun told the crowd at the Digital–Life–Design conference in Munich, Germany that his move was motivated in part by teaching practices that evolved too slowly to be effective. During the era when universities were born, “the lecture was the most effective way to convey information. We had the industrialization, we had the invention of celluloid, of digitial media, and, miraculously, professors today teach exactly the same way they taught a thousand years ago,” he said.
He concluded by telling the crowd that he couldn’t continue teaching in a traditional setting. “Having done this, I can’t teach at Stanford again,” he said.
One of Udacity’s first offerings will be a seven-week course called “Building a Search Engine.” It will be taught by David Evans, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Virginia and a Udacity partner. Mr. Thrun said it is designed to teach students with no prior programming experience how to build a search engine like Google. He hopes 500,000 students will enroll.
Teaching the course at Stanford, Mr. Thrun said, showed him the potential of digital education, which turned out to be a drug that he could not ignore.
“I feel like there’s a red pill and a blue pill,” he said. “And you can take the blue pill and go back to your classroom and lecture your 20 students. But I’ve taken the red pill, and I’ve seen Wonderland.”