Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Will Sites Like Khan Academy Replace Colleges?

Quick Summary:
  • Sites like the Khan Academy, or free education, might challenge the need for paying money to attend college, when the skills could be learned outside school.
  • It depends how the Khan Academy is viewed by employers.
  • It depends if the Khan Academy can produce results.

4 signs that the education bubble will pop:

1. Bankruptcy laws change for student loans.
2. The perception of education changes.
3. A major recession returns to the United States.
4. Students become overwhelmed by negative news.
What about sites like the Khan Academy replacing traditional brick and mortar schools? This depends on a few factors:

1. How employers, such as business owners or recruiters, see the Khan Academy. Traditional colleges are perceived as "safe" even though reality may be the inverse of this perception. What is the reputation of employees who've obtained millions of points on the Khan Academy? Also, how do employers see a person who self-educates as opposed to following a protocol?

2. Can these sites offer "doable" skills, instead of "knowable" skills. In life, results matter, not effort. That sentence describes the problem with modern education. Can the Khan Academy show that people who use it see results, as opposed to showing how much effort its users commit? Just because something takes a long time (like four years in a university) doesn't mean that the effort will produce results.