Briefly Noted (reactions to Sebastian Thrun’s Fast Company hagiography)

Who is troubled by this week’s Sebastian Thrun hagiography (‘Udacity’s Sebastian Thrun, Godfather Of Free Online Education, Changes Course‘) in Fast Company, as well as this announcement (‘Launching our Data Science & Big Data Track built with Leading Industry Partners‘) via the Udacity blog (both posted on 14 November 2013)? A lot of committed open education thinkers and practitioners, so it seems, and not merely because of the hype machine Thrun so evidently cultivates (I’ll leave aside the possible negative reaction to Thrun getting photographed in Lycra tights through a filter borrowed from a 1970s Swedish cinematographer, or the journalist’s attempt to throw in a clichéd Matrix reference):

I’ve compiled these reflective reactions as they are the only ones to emerge apart from a lot of supportive (of Thrun) tweets that are circulating said Fast Company article far and wide. Will we see some supportive articles and blog entries emerge next week regarding Thrun’s latest “pivot”? We shall see…

Kris Olds

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2 thoughts on “Briefly Noted (reactions to Sebastian Thrun’s Fast Company hagiography)

  1. Great stuff, thanks (particularly the reference to 1970s Swedish cinematography).
    I’ll add one more source to the list. It was written by the team at University Ventures back in August. I’ve included an excerpt:
    “Thrun’s magic formula is not a fully automated online class featuring prerecorded videos and Web-based assessments. In other words, it’s not a MOOC at all. To get better results, he said, “We changed the equation and put people on the ground.” By adding mentors and a help line, and making phone calls to remind students to do their work, Udacity found it could get more students to do the work, finish the course and pass. Longer term, he has some ideas about using adaptive learning software to eliminate some of this labor, but for now it takes manpower.”
    “The magic formula sounds uncannily like the online degree programs offered by thousands of accredited higher education institutions, in which over 3M American students are currently enrolled.”
    The full piece is here: http://www.universityventuresfund.com/publications.php?title=wannabe
    Keith

  2. Pingback: Sebastian Thrun: MOOCs Not Effective for Undergraduate Education After All… | online learning insights

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