TeachStreet is one of the latest entrants in informal peer-to-peer learning space.  See interview with CEO Dave Shappell on The Deal.  There was lots of conversation about P2P learning at the Union Square’s recent Hacking Education conference.

Universities see this coming and are tripping over themselves to follow MIT’s lead by taking their content to mainstreet.  iTunes U  got big fast by making it very easy to get physics on your iPhone.  Academic Earth wants to the YouTube of edu; only  YouTube Edu was launched this week

Now that it’s possible to learn anything anywhere, it will be interesting to see how fast and to what extent learning migrates from a compulsory institutional public delivery system to a disintermediated informal voluntary just-in-time affair.  What people in what places for what reasons will take advantage of this new ability?  It really comes down to culture and context. 

Despite the economic jolt that has sent many Americas back to school, I’m afraid I don’t see the passion for learning here that is so evident in emerging economies.  Check out the most watched videos on YouTube Edu—they’re from the Indian Institute of Technology.  

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Tom Vander Ark
Tom Vander Ark is author of Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and Learn Capital and serves on the boards of 4.0 Schools, eduInnovation, Digital Learning Institute, Imagination Foundation, Charter Board Partners and Bloomboard. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.

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