Quoted: on online education as disruptor

“It changes the economics of education.”

Andrew Ng, Stanford professor and co-founder of Coursera, on online education, which he says doesn’t have the same cost inhibitions that traditional education does. Mountain View-based Coursera offers free courses taught by university professors from around the world, and now has more than 1.8 million students, Ng told Bloomberg. Coursera and other startups such as Codeacademy and Udacity are luring venture capital — investment in Web-based education is on track to jump more than 30 percent to $600 million this year, the National Venture Capital Association says — and disrupting education. (In fact, Minnesota finds Coursera so disruptive it has banned its citizens from partaking in free online courses from it. See previous GMSV post.) Silicon Valley venture firms such as Kleiner Perkins and New Enterprise Associates and billionaires such as Richard Branson and Yuri Milner have invested in Codeacademy and Coursera and other Web-based education startups.


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  • RC

    I’m afraid that online education is just a further dilution of the credibility of the current college education. Like the crop of for profit colleges selling high cost low value products there is no ‘there there’ in an online education. Who is going to accredit an education for which it cannot be verified you attended and took the courses yourself?

    I’m not arguing there is not value in the creation of online curriculum but that as a measure of accomplishment there are many hurdles to clear.

    As for the dig at Minnesota I believe that most people would view this as protecting citizens from snake oil salesmen. To me it is wise to take a measured approach to accepting these ‘innovations’.

    As we can seeing by the state of things here in SV there has not been very much benefit to the local society from many of the previous and current ‘innovation’. If this was the place to emulate why are there fewer jobs here in the San Jose MSA than when I moved here in nov1996? nov1996/910,300 compared with sept2012/906,000. Check for yourself at the BLS website:


    click the little green dinosaur next non-farm employment to view a graph.

    The latest educational data in the Mercurynews showed almost all the award winning schools are in elite towns with high property values and not the poor neighborhoods in and around San Jose.