A good friend in the business has been long telling me that Japan is a mature market for language learning books, materials and software. The shrinking commercial areas at language conferences attest to this. Now, another indication I came across this morning. Mindsnacks is a new software for language games, with apps for iPads and iPhones. If you will notice below, we have a nice app for learning English as a Second Language (ESL). The interfaces for learning have lots of different interfaces. If you speak Spanish, Korean or Chinese, and many other languages, you have instructions in your language to learn English. The notable exception? Japanese.
It has finally arrived. The new university. The first update in 500 years. And it looks really good for learning. You get the best lectures and the best materials and the best classmates in the world, for free. Some people call it a MOOC, and there are some common elements. But the innovations bring people and computers, and all their strengths, together. All you have to do is work at it. It is up to you. Read this article about how it works. Or just go to the web site where the newest example looks like it is going to change education. Everywhere.
I’ve been watching for this. I knew it was going to come. I figure I will be just be able to retire with the traditional university still intact, but decaying. The university as we know it will not last much longer. There will be a place for teachers, professors, and people that tell good stories. But it certainly will not pay as well as it does now. Except for a few “rock star” professors who will make millions. The future of course production will be more like a movie studio, and the organizations that can put the right producers, directors, writers and actors together will have hit courses. So we will see teachers in their 20’s gravitate to one or another of these roles gradually, deconstructing what a teacher is, over the next generation. I fear for them, but am also excited for education in general.
Here is the link to the questionnaire.