e-Learning or else…

Important post today by Yuhong, on her experience with e-Learning. She recalls a few facts:

  • a decent videoconference setup for a classroom is less than $5000;
  • MIT is setting itself up to become the major competitor in the future education market through e-Learning: webLab and open sourceware;
  • we know of some tremendously succesful endeavours like MusicGrid lead by Martin Brooks.

I think that Yuhong misses the most important example of all: the U.K. Open University. An entire university based on e-Learning and distance education, and yet, it is one of the best schools in U.K.

I think Downes once wrote that while physical classrooms won’t go away, they will increasingly become a lifestyle choice. In the near future, when my son will attend college (if he does so), he will find a very different landscape. There will much high quality learning opportunities outside classrooms, to the extend that he may avoid entirely classrooms and actually get an even better education. On the other hand, the remaining classrooms will be high-tech classrooms with remote instructors, remote laboratories and so on.

You don’t believe me? About a quarter of current students [in U.K.] are now doing all or part of their courses online.

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