The Chronicle of Higher Education is watching closely as a tenured Stanford professor leaves his secure job to teach at an online startup:
Sebastian Thrun, a professor of computer science at Stanford, revealed today that he has departed the institution to found Udacity, a start-up offering low-cost online classes.
Mr. Thrun told the crowd his move was motivated in part by teaching practices that evolved too slowly to be effective. During the era when universities were born, “the lecture was the most effective way to convey information. We had the industrialization, we had the invention of celluloid, of digitial media, and, miraculously, professors today teach exactly the same way they taught a thousand years ago,” he said.
“I feel like there’s a red pill and a blue pill,” he said. “And you can take the blue pill and go back to your classroom and lecture your 20 students. But I’ve taken the red pill, and I’ve seen Wonderland.”
[via Dr. Hale]