File this under “flipping the classroom.”

Here’s a recent piece from NY Times columnist and best-selling author, Thomas Friedman [ht: Gene Chase]:

Thomas L. Friedman: Come the education revolution

By Thomas L. Friedman

PALO ALTO — Andrew Ng is an associate professor of computer science at Stanford, and he has a rather charming way of explaining how the new interactive online education company that he cofounded, Coursera, hopes to revolutionize higher education by allowing students from all over the world to not only hear his lectures, but to do homework assignments, be graded, receive a certificate for completing the course and use that to get a better job or gain admission to a better school.

“I normally teach 400 students,” Ng explained, but last semester he taught 100,000 in an online course on machine learning. “To reach that many students before,” he said, “I would have had to teach my normal Stanford class for 250 years.”

The combination of all these factors gave birth to, which launched April 18 with the backing of Silicon Valley venture funds, as my colleague John Markoff first reported.

When you consider how many problems around the world are attributable to lack of education, that is very good news. Let the revolution begin.


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