What Khan and Thrun and others are creating is a new educational paradigm, which promises not only much greater scalability than anything we’ve had until now, but also higher-quality education. That’s the real lesson of Thrun’s Stanford students taking his class online: it means that the online model really can have its cake (reach millions of people) while eating it too (be better for students than the courses offered at elite institutions).An example of how to do this well in a more traditional environment than Udacity or Khan Academy is the new online MBA program at the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at UNC. Here's the marketing pitch for it:
MBA@UNC is uniquely designed to empower you with the business knowledge and relationships you’ll need to accelerate your career wherever you may work and live. The program format is comprised of three learning environments:
The MBA@UNC program is delivered using an advanced online learning platform that includes original broadcast-quality video, self-paced lectures, interactive case studies and collaborative activities that foster teamwork. Our interactive social technology allows you to study and interact 24/7 with professors and fellow classmates who live and work around the globe.
- Asynchronous or self-paced course content and interactive case studies and collaborative activities;
- Synchronous or live, face-to-face online class sessions; and
- Three-day global immersions held each quarter focused on developing your leadership skills.
With these opportunities on the horizon, it makes sense to embrace the technology-driven opportunities, not to fear them.