Online education provider Udacity launched its Nanodegree program last year. Partnering with AT&T, the initiative’s goal is to help people develop focused vocational specialties in a short period of time.
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Audrey Watters: “The business of ed-tech” is also the “politics of ed-tech.” The business and the politics of ed-tech together dictate almost all the other trends that I’ll cover in this year-end series. MOOCs. Big data. Learning analytics. Privacy. Competency-based education. Buzzwords.
One way to identify the dominant ed-tech trends is to look at what venture capitalists are funding. Another is to look at what government policies are demanding. The state of Maryland, for example, said this year that it would need to invest $100 million in technology upgrades in order to be ready for the new online testing mandated by the Common Core State Standards.
New hardware. New infrastructure. New curriculum. New expenditures. So… who benefits?
Futurist Thomas Frey: In March, when Facebook announced the $2 billion acquisition of Oculus Rift, they not only put a giant stamp of approval on the technology, but they also triggered an instant demand for virtual reality designers, developers, and engineers.
An instructor for Udacity teaching an online Python class.
AT&T and the online education provider Udacity have partnered to create the “nanodegree,” a new type of college degree similar to the Micro Colleges that Futurist Thomas Frey predicted. The vocationally focused nanodegree is designed to be a lifelong learning portfolio that would be widely recognized by the tech industry and far cheaper to obtain.
Sebastian Thrun, founder of Udacity, captivated the world with visions of self-driving cars and Google Glass and has signed up 16 million students for online classes. So why is he pivoting away from MOOC’s? Thrun says, “We don’t educate people as others wished, or as I wished.”
Sebastian Thru, Udacity CEO and co-founder .
Sebastian Thrun, cofounder and CEO of Udacity, says more AI is coming to online education, but we’ll still need humans to grade our English essays.
Georgia Tech teams up with Udacity.
Sebastian Thrun and Udacity’s resolve to re-imagine higher education in a more affordable, accessible virtual classroom. Udacity continues to push forward with its plans to bring higher education online — and not just in bits, pieces and homework assignments.