Universities, centers of knowledge have been created many years ago. They have for missions to spread, among other virtues, wisdom and true in their communities. There have been many philanthropists that are or were sharing their wealth to create these fascinating places. All of them have rules, timelines, and costs. Some of them are created by national systems and there is no tuition involved, or is just symbolic.
The poor, the isolated, and the minorities have to struggle with all the deficiencies that their trades have, before they can join without stress the full experience of higher education. Some people can deal with big amount of stress, others don’t and that has nothing to do with their wealth, gregarious personality, or if they are part of the general population, or normal people (statistically speaking). Nevertheless it helps to have enough money to have acquired a good basic education to pursue a higher one. To be connected to find out the easiest path with the best results, and to be part of the group to work together and enjoy the synergy of learning as part of a team is part of the College years.
How to know if the course, courses you are taking are going to enrich in an effective way your career? Wow! For that, I have heard so many opinions; you almost can have a book of them. Just some of them are; it doesn’t matter what courses you take as long as you know, you have connections, you must be part of the people with influences so, go to institutions where the children of the top society are. Another opinion is; go where you know the institution has more successful and prestigious alumni and/or professors. Go where you can have personalized guidance and mentoring. Go where you can have the most diverse community, go where you are the opposite of your family values, go where you can afford it, go where moral and religion is first; go as far (or as close) as your parents are. Go where they value the people’s voice. Go where you have the most parties, best installations, best dorms etc, etc, etc… When you are there;
as a student sometimes you get into the stressful facts of a) a great deal is expected of you and b) you have no control over whether you will perform well; according to Martin Seligman. And well, that is not nice.
Oh no! What are all those aspects, why is not simply, what are the institutions of knowledge doing?
Besides the campuses, and personal, they have a master plan for each career. They got into that plan with some key elements; the industry, the government, the professors, and students. They plan for the future, they analyze trends, market, necessities and the most probable scenarios that can occur when people graduate.
As you can see, it is a combination of facts that can be target with accuracy, if you know your data, and you have a good stochastic method to apply; the outcome will have a reasonable, hopeful outcome. We can use the term believe in many statements explaining why an institution decides something over many options. The truth is that there is the technology and mathematical methods to be more precise than ever if we can simulate with enough and correct numbers. The future can be known with a narrow clearance; to a scale so narrow that we can almost said that we are certain of a successful career. And that is why I totally know that the technology used in Udacity to choose the classes, the professors, the amount of time expending, and the grading system is the best. Just take the class of Artificial Intelligence with Sebastian Thrun. (was the best at a the time of pressing this. Now I do not think so, I am still in online courses having so much FUN. I left Udacity, because it became expensive, ineffective, and with rude people. I should say that I couldn’t admit that for sure when at the beginning I was told: ” Sorry, it didn’t work for you”… According to the last thing I heard it has for the first time earnings and it is going to expand to India and China. I wish Udacity the best and I know that for other people it will “work” So, have fun and be audacious! Somebody asked me a week a go: What do you do with your 4 certificates you earned from Udacity? I answered they were hanging on the walls (of my brain). Actually I do not know where they are filed (in paper). Knowledge, is in the brain for a long time, so, I think in a way I am performing better than before. Socially speaking or for jobs it is like the certificates doesn’t exist yet, maybe one day…
As a new way of learning, or developing a new educational system; data is needed. It is not sprouted randomly, they have to collect enough information to create a model, which by this time, it is very optimistic to say but perfectly reasonable to think they are doing it.
So, Udacity is a center of knowledge, they have rules, timelines and costs. They have philanthropists, a mission, and a virtual campus that is composed by the forums, coffee breaks, hang outs, contests, and other beautiful and useful things, to interact with their community.
Udacity have the collaboration of not only one university but several, and the industry has a vital presence. They have a verify certification which is a key factor to acknowledge the rigor and recognition of a learned skill.
When you are a student, you are the product of an educational institution, one of the most stressful things for a mentor, teacher, professor, or educator is the idea that…” The ability of a student to do well in a class has something to do with their class”… a quote from the book Brain Rules by John Medina.
To solve this anguish statement people go to the statistics and if they have, like at Udacity, a pass rate of 83% surpassing many of other classes in other campuses; it is when we can dance in the rain because we know, they conquered a storm. That is a huge achievement! As a student your concerns of performance are gone, and yes, a great deal was expected from you; you have sweated it and earned it; in a controlled, wonderful, and nice environment; with an assertive amount of stress. Because think of it, you know you did it, and you feel it in your brain, nothing can change that inner satisfaction, that helps to go on and on.
So, who are the clients in a center of knowledge? Students, their families, communities, countries, and the world are. The students have the duality of being the product and the client, this paradox come from the bare nature of knowledge which is part of the unique trait of being humans and have fun learning and developing our cortex during our existence.
Many of these thoughts have been evolving in me for many years, due to my experience as a professor of Industrial Engineering, and as an Educator and Tutor; I think this is the time to put them down as a response to a call by Sebastian Thrun for a public discussion about Udacity offerings, and the future of higher education. For the enrolling of many, we can see it as a happy experience, with tremendous empowerment for their students and completely adorable by all Udacian’s Communities. As in right now other online courses of different institutions are the ones to give knowledge to Mankind by the thousands and it will be by the millions soon! Online education rocks!