Hot: Just-in-time education
Not: Four years up front
The computer-mediated courses aren’t new anymore, and everyone is enjoying the advantage of watching a video lecture with buttons for speeding up, slowing down, or asking the prof to repeat that last point. The online forums are also improvements over the old seminar rooms where only one blowhard could dominate the discussion at a time.
But it’s not only the nature of and technology behind online coursework that’s upending the education industrial complex; it’s also the flexibility to learn whenever and wherever you need to. This is changing the dynamic as people no longer have to invest four years of outrageous tuition on a big collection of courses that may or may not be relevant to their lives. Why take courses on compilers until you know you’ll actually work on a compiler? If the boss wants to switch from a relational database to a NoSQL engine, then you can invest the time in a course in modern data stores. You get fresh information when you need it and don’t clutter your brain with quickly rotting ideas.
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