35,000 Students – 1 Course!

The evidence of the potential for IT to change all existing paradigms when it comes to how people learn, or how learning is offered continues to be revealed:

Mindshift Article about Stanford University Online Courses

One aspect that fascinates me is how these changes happening in the tertiary education sector could impact the school education system. Until now school’s primary purpose was to ration the access to tertiary education to only the relatively small minority who can a) afford, and b) show the requisite knowledge and learning skills/ abilities. This was necessary because it was just impossible for any country to build enough colleges and universities for more than a minority of their citizens to enjoy the benefit of tertiary education.

However, if projects like the Stanford University one described in this article become more prevalent, then the criteria for access to tertiary education will be far more a matter of choice. If this lessens the degree to which school secondary and higher secondary education has to act as gate keeper, then how will that free up educators to pursue different goals and ends?


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