Mar 15, 2011

Good, pretty, and cheap education

The Khan Academy is an example of education which is technology intensive. It uses YouTube to teach from basic arithmetic, calculus and differential equations, to the financial crisis, geography and History. KA is a nonprofit.

This approach presents a "glimpse of the future of education" as Bill Gates calls it at the end of this TED video.

A lot of topics can be taught this way, even probably half of college classes (or more). KA uses electronic testing and grading tools. It is easy to imagine that in the near future they (or somebody else) could even offer high school or college diplomas to millions of students around the world at a very low price. 

Imagine a high school or a university that can teach millions of students around the world, following very rigorous standards, and charging a unit price of only US 50 for high school education, or US$ 100 for college education (or even less). I don't think that day is too far away.

Of course there are challenges to deal with, such as the type of skills that this model could not (at least not as the model works now) develop and evaluate, such as critical and creative thinking, speaking, and writing, argumentative skills, etc. But even as it is right now the method might be more effective in delivering education to the poor than current systems in developing countries.

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