The Other Higher Ed: P2P Learning

If you have anything to do with higher education, spend five minutes reading this string of comments on Fred Wilson’s blog. About 140 people gave Fred advice about how to make his ‘MBA Monday’ posts a more accessible open resource.  Just a few of the suggestions included Udemy, Edmodo, WordPress, Khan Academy, Instapaper, Wiki, and Nixty.
Three implications:
1) Fred is an important contributor to knowledge creation–he’s inventing a MBA in entrepreneurship on the fly. (Yesterday we posted a story about the changing nature of knowledge creation and it’s impact on scholarly publishing.)
2) Fred is one of many open resources changing the value equation–if you get Fred free why spend $50k on a degree?
3) Fred’s conversation with his community models peer-to-peer learning in a way different than most degree programs, but common to the experience of any social networking user (like 600m of us).
Speaking of free, I found P2PU,  where anyone can learning anything.  Here’s the mission:

The Peer 2 Peer University is a grassroots open education project that organizes learning outside of institutional walls and gives learners recognition for their achievements. P2PU creates a model for lifelong learning alongside traditional formal higher education. Leveraging the internet and educational materials openly available online, P2PU enables high-quality low-cost education opportunities. P2PU – learning for everyone, by everyone about almost anything.

If you run a third tier degree program, you may be bankrupt and not know it.  If you run a second tier degree program, you better make it social, applied, engaging, and flexible.  And you better find a way to make your program more affordable, because you’re competing with Fred, and he’s free.

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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