Had a hankering to pursue an advanced degree in computer science but you've been put off by the prospect of tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt? Here's some game-changing good news: Top-tier Georgia Tech is teaming up with massive open online course platform Udacity and AT&T to offer a master's in computer science degree, and the whole thing will cost about $7,000. Nope, that's not a typo.
Udacity, which was launched in 2012 by Stanford professor Peter Thrun, offers free virtual classes to anyone with an internet connection. MOOCs have received plenty of attention in the past year because of their ability to educate the masses at a fraction of the cost of a traditional university. Georgia Tech's dean of computing, Zvi Galil, told Insider Higher Ed that although they've "been a part" of the rise of the MOOC, he "thought we could be leaders in this revolution by taking it to the next level, by doing the revolutionary step."
Over the past few years, millions of students across the globe have signed up to take classes through online platforms like Coursera, edX, and Udacity. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is so enthusiastic about the potential of these so-called Massively Open Online Courses to transform education that he's now among the growing number of advocates predicting they'll bring abut the end of traditional university lectures and change the way the world learns.
Despite all the technology at our fingertips Wales told BBC News that higher education hasn't changed much since he was a college student. "In university you're still likely to be in a large lecture hall with a very boring professor, and everyone knows it's not working very well," Wales says. "It's not even the best use of that professor's time or the audience." Instead, MOOC supporters like Wales believe that learning through "libraries of video lectures, supplemented with interactive information, that can be used at any time on a tablet computer or laptop," is a much more engaging form of education.
Know of a small business with great ideas that reimagine learning? Through the 2013 Small Business Innovation Research Program, the U.S. Department of Education is looking to fund a slew of innovative education technology prototypes for five high-need sectors.
One of the sectors is special education, which doesn't always seem to get the attention it deserves from ed tech hardware and software developers. But that might change since the department is offering awards ranging from $150,000 to $1,050,000 to help develop prototypes and products that will "improve student learning in education and special education settings."