Sunday, April 23, 2017

Jump-Starting the Curriculum

This post is from the book Thank You for Being Late by Thomas L. Friedman.

The AT&T model of providing education opportunities for its employees has wide-ranging implications for the World of Education. Udacity built the Online low-cost Master's Degree in Computer Science with Georgia Tech. Today, the business it created with AT&T enables it to offer the same Intelligent Assistance to the World at Large and plant the seeds of the real Revolution in Education.

Udacity was foundered be German-born Sebastian Thrun, formerly an Artificial Intelligence Professor from Stanford and an Expert on Roberts. Thrun like to recall his first meeting with Randall Stephenson at AT&T Headquarters in Dallas. The two of them sat on the floor together in Stephenson's Executive Suite so Thrun could use his laptop to sell the AT&T Executive on how Mini Online Courses, or Nanodegrees, that could teach the latest Technology skills could elevate the AT&T workforce. With this demo, Stephenson signed him up on the spot. Thrun working with Georgia Tech created the $6,600 Online Master's in Computer Science without cannibalizing Georgia Tech's far more expensive Campus-based Master's. It turns out there were two different markets, one for people who want a Campus experience and the other for people starved for Lifelong Leaning that they could do in their spare time at a price they could afford.

The average age of the students for the Online course is 34 and for the Campus course is 23. The demand for more Lifelong Learning platforms was clearly out there. So today Udacity offers Nanodegree programs on building websites, Introduction to Programming, Machine Learning, developing Apps for Android and Apple mobile devices, among others. But here is were things get really interesting. Udacity now develops some of the courses with the help of working Google Engineers. In October 2015, Google released the basic Algorithms for a program called TensorFlow for Public consumption by the Open-Source Community. TensorFlow is a set of Algorithms that enable Fast Computers to do Deep Learning with Big Data Sets to perform tasks better than a human brain.

By January 2016 they had a course online on how to use TensorFlow Open-Source Platform to write deep learning Algorithms to teach a machine to do anything like: CopyEditing, Flying a Plane, or Legal Discovery of Documents or eDiscovery. This is a new field of Computer Science. We can now update your skills at the pace of Moore's Law, at the pace of the industry, explained Thrun.

Udacity has developed a stable of On-Demand Freelancers around the World whom it employs to grade the work of its Online Students, and the Students also grade their grades. I can hire a thousand graders in a week from around the world, try them out, and find the two hundred best said Thrun. It is a fast way to get high quality. There are Udacity Freelance Graders who make several thousand dollars a month grading computing projects, like how to build a map from Google's GPS, sent in from Students around the World. One Project Grader was making $28,000 a month.

Udacity is not just providing Intelligent Assistance for companies like AT&A. Its platform is creating Intelligent Assistance for The Start-Up of You, whoever and whatever you are. People like: Ghada Sleiman, a 30-year old Lebanese woman, who has increase her web design skills to better serve her clients in Australia and the United kingdom. Sledman's story underscores the new contract you need with yourself, more Self-Motivation to tap into the new Global flows for work and learning, and the new contract that schools need with Students. People thought that the advent of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), heralded the Revolution in Education. It was a Revolution, but it was just the tip of the iceberg, because it was still based on the old model: MOOC essentially just used the Internet and Video as a new delivery system for old-fashioned lectures. When a company like Udacity can respond to a major Technological leap forward and offer a Online Course to anyone in the World in three months, the Education market will change.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
Digg! StumbleUpon

No comments: