Tuesday, January 24, 2012

University 2.0

Sebastian Thrun's talk at DLD. He talks about his experiences with the online AI course, and future of university education. Some quotes and the big news at the end:

"There were more students from small countries such as Lithunia than there are students at Stanford".

A student from Afganistan emailed the team, here is an excerpt:

"I spent the last few days under incoming mortar and rocket attacks, then dodging checkpoints under questionable legal status to exfiltrate a war zone to a third world air field until things settle down. I had about an hour of fairly solid internet connectivity to be able to get the assignments done, and still managed a respectable score. This is a typical week here for me".

Another student:

"[Online course] feels more 'intimate' than most of the lectures I attended in the past. I felt that you [..] were personally tutoring me".

Thrun continues: "Having done this [online] course, I cannot teach at Stanford again. It's impossible. I feel like there is a red pill, and blue pill. You can take the blue pill and go back to classroom and lecture your 20 students, but I've taken the red pill, and I've seen the wonderland. We can really change the world with education".

"I gave up tenure at Stanford, and now launching my own platform for online teaching. It is launching today".

The platform is called Udacity.

This is great news.