Last week on the Huff Post College Blog (ht The Kept-Up Academic Librarian), an entrepreneur named Jack Hidary created a list of the leading platforms disrupting the education world.
Topping the list are Udacity, Coursera, EdX, iTunesU, and Khan. Since these are all obvious to everyone here at EdLab, I thought it might be more interesting to share the second half of the list. Some of these should probably be introduced individually and in greater detail, but here's a very short run-down based on Hidary's summaries and brief explorations of these companies' websites.
2Tor. The model for 2Tor is to partner with already existing institutions of higher education to deliver selective degree programs online to students around the world. For example, students can earn full a masters in education from USC while still working, and foreign students can earn a U.S. law degree from Wash U.
AltiusEd. Part university, part technology company, Altius partners with universities to offer a personalized two-year bridge program for students who wish to attend a four-year college but may not have the requisite coursework.
Latimer Education. This is an education management company who works with historically black colleges to extend their reach online. It was founded in response to the significant percentage of African-American online adult students.
Capella University. This is basically an online university offering bachelor's degrees through PhDs. I'm not sure if this should make the cut of most disruptive, but here it is.
Minerva Project. This is an enormous project to launch a blended university, of sorts. Students will live in dorm buildings around the world and the professors will teach via video conferencing.
StraighterLine. This site offers online courses which allow students to earn real credits for core courses that are transferrable to many college degree programs.
University Ventures Fund. This is a "bonus disruptor," since it is a new venture capital fund seeking to invest in these kind of disruptive and revolutionary startups.
Hidary closes his post by asking some great questions.
All in all, these disrupters will bring high-quality learning to millions of people in the U.S. and around the world who never had access to this material. Now the questions are:
a. Will it scale?
b. Will these models turn out to be sustainable?
c. How do we measure the intangibles of in-person learning and how can we replicate those online?
d. Who will disrupt these disrupters?
What do you think? Which of these platforms (if any) truly belong on a list of significant disruptors to traditional education models? What would you add instead?