Math games for 2nd grade
Mountain View, California – In August, four months after Daphne Keller and Andrew Ng launched Coursera’s online education program, its free courses attracted millions of users, becoming more popular than Math games for 2nd grade.
Stanford University’s co-founders, computer science and computer educators, were surprised to see the number of users surpassed two million last month, with 70,000 new students per week subscribing to more than 200 courses, including human-machine interaction, songwriting and gamification (gamification), led by university professors from 33 elite universities.
In less than a year, Coursera attracted $22 million in venture capital and created such a stir that some universities felt hurt before they were in the middle of it.
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Other approaches to distance learning have also emerged. Universities around the country are increasing their online learning offerings in the hope of attracting students from around the world. New organizations, such as Udemy, are helping some educators bring their courses to the online level. Harvard and MIT have allocated $30 million each to create a data exchange organization. Stanford University’s Udacity unit has attracted more than a million students through mass open distance courses, or MODX, with a simultaneous injection of $15 million.
If you understand how to make money on this, this approach can be a good contribution to the future of education.
Coursera has gained popularity among other services at a frantic rate, becoming the current leader in difference between whose and who’s this segment of educational services, seeking to support its business through the creation of regular income from license and certification fees and fees for providing employers with recruiting information. But there is no guarantee that it will be able to maintain its position in the rapidly developing market of educational technologies.
“No one has yet managed to get a model that will continue to work for a long time,” says James Grimelman, a professor at New York Law School specializing in computer and Internet law. “I’m sure that all current businesses are doomed to failure because expectations are too high. People think something will spread with the speed of a forest fire. But it is more likely that at least ten years will pass before someone understands how to organize everything correctly and get profit from it”.
For their part, Keller and Ng have announced a desire to make the course accessible without any payment to poor students around the world. Education, as they have repeatedly said, should be a right, not a privilege. And even their supporters believe that the profits of this enterprise can wait.
“Making a profit is not the most important goal for this business at the moment,” says Scott Sandell, a financier at Coursera and general partner at New Enterprise Associates (a global investment company). “What’s important is that Coursera is rapidly building a quality foundation that has a good chance of attracting universities that will want to license it for their own needs. We are investing in a very long-term project, and the maturation period for the best companies is at least 10 years”.
But with the first revenue streams now in place, Coursera partner universities expect to see a certain share of the revenue earlier.
“We’ll make a profit when Coursera gets it,” says Peter Lange, Duke University Rector and one of Coursera’s partners. “I don’t think it’ll take too long. But we don’t want to make the mistake of letting you use our product for free online too long.