Dispatches from a Small Business
Time to short those shares of the Teaching Company. Yale is offering free videos of many of its introductory courses. HT: Carpe Diem
Such a good idea... I've never understood why a lot of universities and professors are so protective of lectures. An intro-level lecture in an interesting topic by an engaging speaker will likely win over a few students to go to a school who would not have otherwise gone there.
MIT and Harvard have been doing things like this for years. Why would this change things for the Teaching Company?
Lets extend this.
I live in California. The University of California is publicly funded. There is a lot of competition to get into UC. Only 10% or so of the state graduating high school students can attend. Costs are going higher.
How about if we put all lectures on the web and allow all Californians to study and perhaps get degrees online.
Choose the top 10 lecturers in any given subject and have them deliver the lectures.
Offer several levels of education at different prices
1. Zero cost - watch the lectures
2. More cost - take proctored tests, graded papers, projects, etc.
3. More cost - attend local discussion groups to interact with other students with a class leader
4. More cost - attend local labs
5. Full cost - attend the physical university
Reduces costs, presents only the best material, and makes education open to all, whats not to like?
All kinds of ideas suggest themselves:
1. Why not allow a composite degree with classes from several universities?
2. Why not extend the idea to high schools?
Norm, you were on a roll until you got to suggested idea #2. Then you collided with teacher's unions. Not really about the kids, doncha know....
Maybe even the Clown College of Nassau will join the fun!
Actually, You can get quite a few course from great universities online now. You can also look on YouTube and get entire courses in electronics (real, hard science classes).
Information tends toward free.
I'm not sure I'd short the Teaching Company and other sham schools yet because they don't provide knowledge, they provide credentials for signaling purposes.
Prospective employers rarely care about what you know; they care about what is printed on your diploma. Auditing lectures from introductory courses at Ivy League schools may prove to be educational, but listing the courses on your resume won't win you any points with job application screeners.
I recommend the class on the Civil War.
I would recommend a class on the Civil War for everyone attending an institution of higher learning. It will prepare them for things to come.
As noted above, MIT has been doing this for some time:
Interesting idea, but is there a way to pay to get credit for any of the courses?
If not, they might just be a waste of time or a hobby for the elderly.
Hell, you can watch me teach enviro economics and policy at UC Berkeley: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=110CEF78F8A806A9