Jailbreak for higher education

    The traditional higher education system is hopelessly behind the times, according to the creators of the startup Degreed. The cost of education is growing three times faster than inflation, debts on educational loans are unbearable, and the model of lifelong learning that has developed in the Middle Ages within the walls of the university for several years has completely failed to meet modern requirements. Now they are talking more and more about “lifelong education”, that a diploma or a degree obtained many years ago is weakly connected with real knowledge and qualifications.

    At the same time, a completely new ecosystem of obtaining and, very importantly, confirmation and certification of knowledge and skills began to take shape outside universities. A profile on LinkedIn, repositories on GitHub, certificates from serious corporations like Cisco or Microsoft, the results of authoritative online tests today can often replace a formal document on education.

    Degreedstrives for an ambitious goal - to create a single lifelong digital diploma, constantly updated and flexible, which will reflect real knowledge no matter from what source it is obtained. You can listen to several courses at one university, several more at another, or on a site like Coursera or Khan Academy in general - points in your “diploma” will increase depending on the credibility of the course and your personal achievements.

    Similarly, credit rating calculation systems work - it doesn’t matter which bank you borrowed from, it only matters how often you borrowed and how faithfully you paid interest. Degreed founder David Blake calls this jailbreak education model for a diploma. A digital diploma will provide more accurate and relevant information about a person’s real knowledge than a paper one. Blake believes that such a system will serve as an excellent complement to traditional forms of confirmation of knowledge, and in the future, perhaps, will receive recognition and authority in the academic community, making education much more accessible.

    Does this threaten traditional universities? Yes and no, Blake thinks. Just like with the advent of online music stores, album sales fell, but sales of individual songs grew, the spread of systems like Degreed could lead to a drop in demand for traditional diplomas, for which you have to listen to really necessary and high-quality courses. everything that is included in the standard set of a particular university, but the best courses will be sold much more, and the quality of education as a whole will only increase.

    Degreed received a $ 100,000 grant from MacArthur and Bill and Melinda Gates Charities. Now Degreed is conducting a crowdfunding campaign to collect another 100,000 necessary for compiling a single catalog of courses, diplomas and educational institutions and launching the site.

    Source: TechCrunch .

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