Online education has exploded in recent years, and with a broadband connection and a few hours a day, one can learn highly marketable skills in technology, design, and entrepreneurship.

Keyboard_SmallWhat would it take to create wildly profitable, culturally effective online education system? How could the system reflect the marketplace demands of an era of technology, and provide tangible resources for students to find and create opportunity? What would that look like?

When the University of Phoenix offered its first online course in 1989, the internet was in its infancy, and for-profit online education was a revolutionary idea. Today Apollo Group, which owns University of Phoenix (UOPX), is No. 452 on the Fortune 500. Meanwhile, the internet is now ubiquitous, and next-generation educational platforms are starting to take hold across the country. The value proposition is based less on government subsidy and privileged access, and more on modern vocational training, affordability, and access as universal as broadband and mobile phones.

This new online education represents a much-needed shift away from the existing popular paradigm. Skillshare stakes its claim on the thesis that cities hold the perfect ingredients for a system of collaborative education: density, diversity, and rich connective tissue. On Skillshare, a user can host a class, at whatever price she wants, on whatever subject she wants, and anyone in the neighborhood can pay to attend. The featured curriculum has ranged from cooking classes to UX design, photography workshops to beginning Javascript. General Assembly, a co-working space in New York City, is developing a curated and rigorous curriculum. They operate as a high-technology salon, where young start-up companies and individuals rent office space, share resources, and take nightly classes in technology and design. Their online education component reflects the values of their community space, and is being syndicated gradually.

Click here to read the complete article.

Source: Kanyi Maqubela | The Atlantic