A new XPRIZE, a $15 million prize for Global Learning. To win, develop an open source software solution that allows children in developing countries to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic within an 18 month competition period. Recruiting now.
E-learning was a field that long promised, but delivered very little of lasting value. And delivered it with all the aesthetic style of a mouldy kipper, to boot. As I often remarked during the 1990s and 2000s: “If e-learning systems worked, people would be clamouring to use them”. But the recent MIT research on science MOOCs has changed my mind, at least on some kinds of online higher education. Maybe now, with rigorous competitions like the XPRIZE for Global Learning, field-tested under strict competition conditions, I’ll soon have my mind changed about basic primary level education too. Let’s hope so.