My 11 year old son just took a course at Stanford. That has a nice ring to it but it is actually meaningless because these days anyone can take a course at Stanford. You don’t even have to pay. All you need is access to a computer and a reasonable Internet connection. So what we can say is my 11 year old son just watched a bunch of videos on the Internet.
That doesn’t make for an interesting post except that this ‘bunch of videos’ is currently being heralded as the future of higher education. In the New York Times, David Brooks saw courses like the one my son took as a tsunami about to hit campuses all over the world. And he isn’t alone. Harvard’s Clay Christensen sees it asa transformative technology that will change education forever. And along with Stanford many other institutions, most notably Harvard and MIT, are leaping into the online mix. This is attracting attention and investment dollars. It has people nervous and excited. So I wondered, what happens when someone who has grown up online encountered one of these new ventures?
The course my son just completed was ‘Game Theory’ taught by Matthew Jackson and Yoav Shoham.