Expanding World-Class Education to the World

Source: WSJ, Mar 2012

Last fall, a couple of hundred Stanford students registered for Sebastian Thrun’s class on artificial intelligence. He offered the course free online, too, through his new company Udacity, and 160,000 students signed up. For the written assignments and exams, both groups got identical questions—and 210 students got a perfect overall score. They all came from the online group.

The next big thing, though, is college-level MOOCs and MOOSes: Massive Open Online Courses and Seminars. Harvard already showcases coursework like professor Michael Sandel’s “Justice” lectures online, gratis. Now Georgia Institute of Technology, MIT, Stanford and others are offering advanced online courses, some with accreditation.

To be truly egalitarian, classes will need to go not just online but mobile. Still, the upshot of it all is clear: more smart people is better.

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