A colleague, who prefers it when I do not mention his name on any social media channel as he is a geek who studiously avoids facebook, twitter, blogging etc, emailed some interesting links about Stanford University and the new, “Online Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, by Professors Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun“. I noticed, a few minutes later, the same link was posted by George Siemens on Google+ who made some interesting points (and is understandably excited by the development):
Why is the Stanford course an important development? Well, first, it reflects the logical next stage of education and openness: as the course authors state in their intro video, “we want to teach the world”.
What I find exciting is that anyone, from any background (with internet access), at least has a chance and opportunity to both excel and contribute to their society. I note that in excess of 25 000 enthusiasts have signed-up already (an I am sure it will be many more by the time you read this post).
I should note that my colleague gave the email the subject heading:
Class with 10K Students the future of education?
He is one of the smartest people I know but tends towards a glass half-empty philosophy of existence on any given day. Often he is right. I agree with @gsiemens about the course but another part of my brain wonders, in an era of cost-cutting and standardisation, what systems may do with online learning when the obvious short-term economic prospects may be tempting to bean-counters.