how the internet is revolutionizing education

The Future of Education

Promising online alternatives to the low-quality, high-cost government monopoly on education


While union controlled public monopoly schools turn out ever poorer students at ever increasing cost, innovative alternatives to unaffordable education are taking shape in the form of online education.  And it is being created by both private for-profit and not-for-profit organizations that compete in a free market.


Help by adding examples below and linking to their wiki or internet sources 

Different Types of Online Courses: MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses) and now SMOCS (Synchronous Massive Online Classes)


Khan Academy

“A free world-class education for anyone anywhere.”

Khan Academy is non-for-profit online educational organization with a goal of “changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.”

It was created in 2006 and is funded by a variety of charitable foundations, businesses and individuals.  It does not appear to receive any government funding. 

It currently has more than 4500 videos that teach everything from business to physics and the humanities.  A sophisticated computer system provides coaching tools for teachers and parents to assist students and follow their progress.

Video:  Salman Khan talks about how he got started

Flash player not available.

From the Kahn Website:

How it works for students

Students can make use of our extensive video library, interactive challenges, and assessments from any computer with access to the web.

  1. Complete custom self-paced learning tool
  2. A dynamic system for getting help
  3. A custom profile, points, and badges to measure progress

Coaches, parents, and teachers

Coaches, parents, and teachers have unprecedented visibility into what their students are learning and doing on the Khan Academy.

  1. Ability to see any student in detail
  2. A real-time class report for all students
  3. Better intelligence for doing targeted interventions


Founded in early 2012, Coursera, a “for profit” online educational corporation has attracted over 4 million participants taking 428 courses produced by 84 educational partners, including 33 top universities, using sophisticated computer systems to improve the learning experience.  They plan to reach hundreds of millions with the educational programs. 

Video:  Daphne Koller explains Corsera

Flash player not available.

Anyone over 18 years old with a computer can take courses for free and may receive a “statement of accomplishment” documenting completion of the course, for which a fee may be changed. 

 The courses cannot be used for credit at an accredited institution.  The material is copyrighted and cannot be copied except for “your own personal use.” 

The site is completely silent regarding the fees charged.  The fact that there are fees appears only in the terms of use and in a news article indicating that they had collected “close to $500,000 in a few months” (WSJ May 15, 2013).  Initial funding was $22 million. 

Corsera’s presentations suggest that they are embarrassed by the fact that they are a for-profit venture.  They shouldn’t be.  It is good that they are a for-profit corporation and not a government funded social experiment.  As a business they must provide the best service for the lowest price to the most people or be swept aside by their competitors.  That makes them very exciting. 


University of Texas Professors invent? the"SMOC"

New for-profit class "falls somewhere between a MOOC, or Massive Open Online Course, a late-night television show, and a real-time research experiment"

Private Teachers

South Korea’s Private Teachers

Using online classroom techniques, private teachers in South Korea have become rich by spreading the reach of their teaching to many more students through “hagwons” or private, after-school academies.  Kim Ki-Hoon makes $4 million per year. 

Sixty years ago the majority of citizens were illiterate.  Now it ranks 2nd in the PISA global test of academic excellence, far above the United States. 

It would be nice to see what a free market in education could do for our ailing schools.

Safe Anchors

Free Markets:  private competitive free markets stimulate innovation that delivers the highest quality products for the lowest price


Name/link:  link to opportunities on the Internet to do something concrete about this information


Academic Facts and Fallacies

Chapter 4 in Economic Facts and Fallacies by Thomas Sowell – an extensive discussion of the economics of higher education in the United States and the negative unintended consequences of those economics


Page/link:  list sources with a brief description of each


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