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MOOC’s aren’t the future of education

TLDR: MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Course’s) are missing a key ingredient — physicality. Until this is addressed (with integrated Maker Spaces, immersive technologies, etc.) traditional universities are still the place to educate yourself.

If you asked me a few years ago to describe the future of education, I would’ve pointed to Coursera, Udacity or Youtube. But after spending a summer at Stanford University, I realized that it’s not just access to information (and accreditation) that traditional universities are selling, it’s a physical environment. A physical environment filled with tools and peers that facilitate a unique type of learning. Unlike our artificially intelligent counter parts, we’re an embodied intelligence that thrives on social interaction, tactile feedback, visual depth, emotionally variant experience and the like.

This is why coffee shops are still filled with people (despite low cost at home espresso machines). As embodied intelligences, we crave physicality and interaction. Regardless of forums and message boards, MOOC’s are a mostly sterile experience that translate poorly to ‘the real world’.

So that’s my super obvious insight. If we’re to end the monopoly universities currently hold, it will involve atoms (not just bits). The solution probably lies in a coupling of Dynamic Land + 42 like curriculum/accreditation + emerging immersive technologies.

It’s this insight that’s informing what we’re doing at Dexter. It’s named after Dexter’s Laboratory to make a subtle point, who was Dexter without his lab?

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