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Education Books Entertainment

'In the Knowledge Economy, We Need a Netflix of Education' (techcrunch.com) 144

An anonymous reader shares a report: When we want to acquire useful knowledge, we have to search the web broadly, find experts by word-of-mouth and troll through various poorly designed internal document sharing systems. This method is inefficient. There should be a better solution that helps users find what they need. Such a solution would adapt to the user's needs and learn how to make ongoing customized recommendations and suggestions through a truly interactive and impactful learning experience. Before Netflix, Spotify, Reddit and similar curated content apps, you had to go to numerous sources to find the shows, music, news and other media you wished to view. Now, the entertainment and media you actually want to consume is easily discoverable and personalized to your interests. In many ways the entertainment model is a good framework for knowledge management and learning development applications. The solution for the learning and development industry would be a platform that can make education more accessible and relevant -- something that allows us to absorb and spread knowledge seamlessly. Just as Netflix delivers entertainment we want at our fingertips, the knowledge and learning we need should be delivered where and when we need it.

'In the Knowledge Economy, We Need a Netflix of Education'

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  • We already have it. (Score:5, Informative)

    by technoid_ ( 136914 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @10:46AM (#54756297) Homepage Journal

    Just look at Coursera, EdX, Code School, and others.

    Are they free? No, but neither is Netflix or Hulu.

    • Youtube is free, and is the closest to a Netflix of Education.

      Ask Youtube how to do anything. There is probably a video.

      • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @11:04AM (#54756453) Journal

        Youtube is free, and is the closest to a Netflix of Education.

        Ask Youtube how to do anything. There is probably a video.

        And hundreds of people who are there to tell you,

        A) You're doing it wrong
        B) You don't need to learn this, because the Earth is flat and Jews control everything
        C) You're a fag for wanting to learn this. And probably a Jew.

        • Youtube is free, and is the closest to a Netflix of Education.

          Ask Youtube how to do anything. There is probably a video.

          And hundreds of people who are there to tell you,

          A) You're doing it wrong
          B) You don't need to learn this, because the Earth is flat and Jews control everything
          C) You're a fag for wanting to learn this. And probably a Jew.

          If I'm looking at a how to video (laptop tear down comes to mind), why would I bother with the comments?

          Also:
          D) Prophet!!!

          • If I'm looking at a how to video (laptop tear down comes to mind), why would I bother with the comments?

            I'm not talking about the comments. I'm talking about the videos.

            • OK. I have never run across any content like you describe while searching for "how to" videos.
              I guess I'm just blessed with mundane interests...
              Now, there are a ton of people that don't know what they are talking about, but that's what happens when you give everyone a voice.
              It never means we are obligated to listen.
        • True, but there are still at least a dozen people willing to spend an hour telling you about the correct technique for using a skew chisel, taking apart a $200 professional impact driver, analyzing it in minute detail and filming the mechanism in high speed, or showing you how to perfect your stick welding technique on medium section right angle joints.

          Youtube is bloody amazing if you ignore the dickheads.

          • Youtube is bloody amazing if you ignore the dickheads.

            Naw, you're right. I had an old lockbox/safe with a rotary combination that I'd long forgotten. It's a very nice box, and I didn't want to ruin it or damage the contents. I watched a YouTube video on how to crack the combination and I got it in three tries. I felt triumphant. But it did occur to me that thieves can also watch these videos, which tempered my enthusiasm a little bit.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Videos are one way to learn. Then there are these things called books which I've heard can be quite educational and offerred in quickly downloadable formats.

    • Just look at Coursera, EdX, Code School, and others.

      Are they free? No, but neither is Netflix or Hulu.

      Do any of those have solid expert panel discussions?

    • There's also CrashCourse [youtube.com] which *is* free...

      =Smidge=

    • by ccb621 ( 936868 )
      Nearly all of the courses at edX are free.
    • by m00sh ( 2538182 )

      Just look at Coursera, EdX, Code School, and others.

      Are they free? No, but neither is Netflix or Hulu.

      Videos are the worst way to learn.

      Stackoverflow, slack, redit discussions are better way to learn.

      Best is to do a project and post it on github, bitbucket, VSTS.

  • Already exists. (Score:5, Informative)

    by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @10:46AM (#54756303) Homepage

    Called the Khan Academy.

    Great site with lots of topics. [khanacademy.org]

  • Isn't that what online services like Khan Academy are already offering? I haven't used it and don't know much about it. But it seems to me these education outlets already exist.

    • by NetNed ( 955141 )
      Too free and not enough monetary returns for the education industry. Just like copyrighted curriculum in colleges. Put a copyright on it, change for it and make money while calling it SO much more better than that free garbage!!!
  • EdX, Udemy, Lynda, etc.
    Not to mention, there is value in learning how to research.

    • by creimer ( 824291 )
      I prefer using Udemy for online instruction, especially when courses are available for $10 each.
      • Are Udummy the ones that are like "I will tell you what is one wariable. It is nothing but name of the location where you can be storing one walue" or am I getting them confused with Pluralshite?

        • by creimer ( 824291 )

          Are Udummy the ones that are like [...]

          Beats me. I'm currently taking a content marketing course. No coding required.

  • Just like there are Amazon, Google, Netflix, Apple providing entertainment for a fixed fee. There are training sites that do the same. Lynda is merely one of them.
  • Critical thinking is more important than finding the answer in google or adding on a calculator.

  • It's called a public library. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org].
    • by creimer ( 824291 )
      The newer public libraries tend to be smaller than the older public libraries of yesteryear. When a new public library and community center opened near my home, the library was a tiny little room inside a huge building. The rest of the building was a fitness center, a basketball court , a café and community rooms that the city collects rental fees on.
  • They were called 'The Discovery Channel' and 'PBS.' Both were created to be an education only networks, The Discovery Channel as a pure educational cable network that dis just documentaries. However after teh first 2 years it was no where near profitable. So it it got spun off into a commercial entity showing primarilly reality television series, such as speculative investigation. Then it started making a ton of money. PBS went political, the cable networks came, and finally YouTube stole most of their
  • by Roger Wilcox ( 776904 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @11:06AM (#54756475)

    Netflix, Spotify, and Reddit curate in such an oppressive manner that I cannot imagine such a model being good for anyone who likes to direct his own habits. And for one who doesn't like to direct his own habits... education curated in such a manner sounds downright dangerous.

    Netflix and Spotify (ostensibly) show you what they think you want to see. The curation is perhaps somewhat accurate but I end up feeling like a browsable index would suit my needs far better than having so much content hidden, even inaccessible, behind what they divine my "tastes" to be. As an example: Netflix no longer displays a category for anime on my account because it has decided I don't like anime. Simply not true! I want that category back! Their curation makes my self-direction more difficult because they have forced me to spend extra effort locating the content I really want to see.

    Imagine this applied to education: You want to learn about Japan? Well our AI doesn't think you really do, so we'll present options to learn about how great USA is instead! How is this good?

    And Reddit? Well... Reddit is curation by an angry mob. Has OP ever even been to Reddit?

    In short: Make educational content easily available? Absolutely. Use some fancy AI or groupthink to do so? Probably not the best approach.

    • Perhaps a tad gauche replying to my own post, but... Give me a centralized, well-indexed collection of all the education available and let me be the curator.
    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      As an example: Netflix no longer displays a category for anime on my account because it has decided I don't like anime. Simply not true! I want that category back!

      There's a page that lets you manually override those assumptions and specify your interest in particular categories and subcategories, though I think you have to do that via the website.

  • I used to buy many expensive tech books. But I have not purchased a book in years.

    I also do not think it is based in education apps, the whole education method is obsolete. The information is grouped in subject matter sites.

    In the tech world I just use google and type in my question and the answers are in sites like Stack Overflow, W3C Schools, etc.

    The education model using the old style teaching ways is over, but those in education don't know it yet.

    Most of what is taught in schools today are thing
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Did you got to college? Where did you find your feet when it came to the tech world?

      The reason I ask you this is that the Google method is fine as long as you know what you're looking for but when you're not sure it can be a daunting task. Class room learning should bring about a well rounded understanding of the subject and give you the foundation for knowing what questions to ask. At that point you still have to know the wheat from the chaff. You were probably walked through a lot of concepts that Google-

  • What Netflix et al are doing is to see what you have been watching, find something that kinda fits the bill and offers it to you. That makes sense, because if I'm interested in subject A and watch relevant content, it's likely that other content that deals with subject A will be to my liking and I'll enjoy watching it. If I'm on a Doctor Who marathon, it's likely that I enjoy SciFi, so suggesting Star Trek makes sense.

    Because when people do what they like, they stay in the same category. People usually have

  • The Great Courses (Score:3, Interesting)

    by werld ( 102206 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @11:20AM (#54756635)
    I love this "streaming app" on my roku. It's $20's a month which is a little high for my taste but even though I do not really use it as much as i'd like (at least not yet). I have taken some chemistry courses from Georgetown and one of the Photography courses and I really enjoyed both of them. I still pay because its sort of like a donation each month because I think it is a good idea and I want it to succeed.. I also do the same with Curiosity Stream. Cheers
  • Khan Academy [khanacademy.org] has some great series. The depth varies quite a bit between subjects - last time I checked, the math parts were much better developed than the biology ones - but it has some really useful stuff.

    What I'd like to see are more comprehensive trade school education resources online. Yeah, I know there are instructional videos on YouTube, but they tend to be for quick things (some exceptions, obviously) and it's not always easy to find the good ones.
  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Thursday July 06, 2017 @11:30AM (#54756763) Homepage Journal

    This is what frustrated me so terribly about public schooling.
    "Hurry up and wait for the slow kids."

    Was worst in grade school, got only slightly better in high school, and college was simply more-of-same.

    Even afterwards, classes for various forms of certification are just DREADFULLY slow.

    As someone with ADD, being told to just stand there and hold my dick COMPLETELY destroys the learning experience, because it becomes so disjointed.

    If I'd had something like Netflix to absorb information from, I might have done a lot better in school (blew out testing, but classwork destroyed my GPA).

    • For me, it's not much about the speed but the way schools worked in 1980~1990. Just learn and learn and learn, then try to apply what you just learned. I'm more of a learn-as-I-go guy so school was just a horrible learning experience.

    • As someone with ADD, being told to just stand there and hold my dick COMPLETELY destroys the learning experience, because it becomes so disjointed.

      I got a citation (not the good kind) for looking at the other children when I was done with my work, instead of putting my head down on my desk and waiting quietly. Literally. LOOKING AT THE OTHER CHILDREN IS BAD MKAY. Never mind that even by third grade I was a head taller than all the other children, and putting my head down on my desk caused me back pain.

      The system is out of order.

      • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

        LOOKING AT THE OTHER CHILDREN IS BAD MKAY.

        They probably assume that kids doing that are trying to copy the answers. I sure would! There was plenty of that at my school.

    • Teaching models are changing, thankfully. Now we have the mobile technology that is inexpensive enough that each student can have a device, and there is interactive course material that adapts to the student's comprehension and provides the instructor with feedback on the student's progress.

      It makes me jealous, actually, that the students that want to learn can do so at their own pace that doesn't involve just sitting there reading the text while the instructor deals with the mouthbreathers and kids with b

    • same for me. I got bumped out of the AP courses because there wasn't enough money for them.
    • As someone with ADD, being told to just stand there and hold my dick COMPLETELY destroys the learning experience, because it becomes so disjointed.

      As someone with ADD, being told to just stand there and hold my dick COMPLETELY destroys the learning experience, because it becomes so disjointed.

      As someone with ADD, being told to just stand there and hold my dick COMPLETELY destroys the learning experience, because it becomes so disjointed.

      As someone with ADD, being told to just stand there and hold my dick COMPLETELY destroys the learning experience, because it becomes so disjointed.

      As someone with ADD, being told to just stand there and hold my dick COMPLETELY destroys the learning experience, because it becomes so disjointed.

      As someone with ADD, being told to just stand there and hold my dick COMPLETELY destroys the learning experience, because it becomes so disjointed.

      As someone with ADD, being told to just stand there and hold my dick COMPLETELY destroys the learning experience, because it becomes so disjointed.

      As someone with ADD, being told to just stand there and hold my dick COMPLETELY destroys the learning experience, because it becomes so disjointed.

      As someone with ADD, being told to just stand there and hold my dick COMPLETELY destroys the learning experience, because it becomes so disjointed.

      I bolded the part that really throws me. I completely agree with you. You have accurately described the problem.

      Not that anyone will hear you or that anything will change. :(

  • "the knowledge and learning we need should be delivered where and when we need it."

    The premise of this is fundamentally flawed. Knowledge is not an on demand need. Much of the purpose of modern education is to learn how to think and learn how to learn. Only a small subset of learning are skills that can be delivered on demand. There are plenty of sources on where I can get a video on how to fix my dishwasher. Learning the background of heat transfer, metal phase change, and how to measure and cut
  • I'm still not too sure what was the objective of the original article (on TechCrunch), but it appears to be confusing some stuff there. It appears whoever wrote it also never had any experience in online learning, which is just weird.

    We already have plenty of similar platforms for education as Netflix is for entertainment. Lynda.com, Khan Academy, Coursera, EdX, Udemy, Udacity to name a few. Kinda egregious that the article talked about none of those despite them being as popular and ubiquitous as Netflix.

    B

  • Like many people said we have online platforms that provide this (Coursera, Khan, etc), but they are all inherently flawed. This is because they are all using passive learning methodologies. Passive learning is reading a video, sitting in a lecture or watching a video. Passive learning is provably less effective than active learning which is learning by doing. The highest form of active learning is an expert tutor. What we really need is a digital tutor. A cloud based A.I. system that will teach a stu
    • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

      Like many people said we have online platforms that provide this (Coursera, Khan, etc), but they are all inherently flawed. This is because they are all using passive learning methodologies. Passive learning is reading a video, sitting in a lecture or watching a video. Passive learning is provably less effective than active learning which is learning by doing.

      I always wondered why I was able to learn so much about history through Wikipedia, while back in grade school my history books were hated, and it was my worst subject. I think it's because on a Wikipedia article I was able to explore tangents at my leisure, easily click on a name I didn't still recognize to remind myself who that was, and explore any direction. I was always a science kid, never particularly enjoyed history, and now I can blow an afternoon on Wikipedia clicking through history articles. The

      • When you are interested in a subject, a dopaminergic circuit forms between your hippocampus and substantia nigra. Dopamine is the pleasure neurotransmitter. This circuit has been has been demonstrated to improve long term memory formation. Interest drives memory formation.

        Second when you connect ideas together, such as following branches on wikipedia, you form new associations. It has been demonstrated that new long term memories form more rapidly when you associate it to an already established memory.

  • What they mean is that you need to ignore the majority of the information, just like the majority of the content is not available.
    Also that content changes. Bit like how we always have been with war with Eurasia.

    At every time in history there was an overload of information. "History?" I see what I did there. Nice example. I went from one country to another in Europe. The historic facts where the same, the history lessons where not. I did not get a lot of facts in one country and I did not get them in anothe

  • ... for on-line education. This:

    https://www.mooc-list.com/ [mooc-list.com]

    came up near the top of the list. I'm sure there are other resources.

  • We need to get rid of state mandates for public education. Before you freak out, notice I didn't say 'Get Rid of public education' I said 'get rid of mandates'. I would much rather put my kid through Coursera, Khan Academy, Liberty Classrom, or "Ron Paul's Home school Curriculum" but if the state I live in mandates my kid still go to what is essential a prison for 8 hours a day to be taught a bunch of falsehoods like "World War II got us out of the great depression" and "Alexander Hamilton was a great found
  • As already commented there are already dozens of different online "Netflixes" of learning.

    What we need is a meat space hands on "teaching on demand" service. You can throw youtube videos and engineering books at me all day long and I may eventually learn. What we need is a hands on skilled trade teaching service. The "hands on" learners are the ones getting left behind in the push for everyone to go to college and learn online.

  • Oh my deity! Get over trying to find a silver bullet for education. It's a waste of time. There is no "knowledge economy", it's called "education" and "information". And we need a Netflix/Uber/Killer App for education like medicine needs a jackhammer for neurosurgery or penicillin for steel smelting. The success of one concept in one area does not imply that the framework would work in another environment.

    Case in point: Coursera, Khan Academy, MIT lectures, and the like have done NOTHING to affect the e
    • Willpower is the key, as you point out. The resources are there already (Khan Academy, MIT Open Courseware, etc). The problem is the lack of folks ability to sit through it and do the work, and lack of talented folks willing to do quality teaching. I've noticed that the farther you go back generation-wise, the more folks seem used to doing hard study and work. When I see this "Gimme a Netflix for Education" crap, I don't see see the problem as one of access, but a lack of ability to apply themselves. Most
    • Educating children is hard work. It takes time, effort, and passion (which dies with burnout). If you want to find a killer app to fix education, make one that magically properly funds our K-12 education so that teachers make a living wage appropriate for their region and hours of work, reduces class sizes to 20 children per class, and guarantees healthy food for everyone working or learning on a K-12 campus. Do that and watch education improve.

      Apps are not merely a replacement for teachers any more than you can just hand a kid a book and expect them to teach themselves. Unlike books though, apps are interactive and dynamic, and can be programmed to provide content that matches a student's comprehension level. What's more, apps also can provide useful feedback for instructors on where students are struggling and need coaching or encouragement.

      You're right that education is hard. Just throwing extra money at schools, without improving teaching met

  • You want to know what the Economics of Knowledge looks like today? It's a twenty-something college graduate who can't find a job, holds decades worth of debt, and is still living at home with Mommy and Daddy.

    The "Knowledge Economy" is nothing more than a greedy capitalistic bitch of an education system who works hard to convince you that a fucking mortgage worth of college debt is still worth it. Let's hope whatever engine replaces that method of teaching will at least be financially sound, and not result

    • The flip side is that we have business world that uses degree requirements as a blunt screen. You can be just as competent as everyone else, but without a slip of paper from ACME University you won't get past the initial screen by HR. You need to either be exceptional, or be in a super desperate field to manage to get around that barrier.

      So unless the whole business world changes to one where they look at candidate skill instead of candidate credentials it won't matter if you get a Harvard quality educat

      • The flip side is that we have business world that uses degree requirements as a blunt screen. You can be just as competent as everyone else, but without a slip of paper from ACME University you won't get past the initial screen by HR. You need to either be exceptional, or be in a super desperate field to manage to get around that barrier.

        So unless the whole business world changes to one where they look at candidate skill instead of candidate credentials it won't matter if you get a Harvard quality education off of Youtube, Uni-Flix, or Net-Degree.

        Entry level tracks simply have dried up for many fields. My current design group is all over 40, and wants 15 years experience when we do hire. We have a couple college interns, but there are no 10 year experience positions for them to ever move into. The manufacturing support based entry level track I used to get into design is long gone, sent overseas 15 years ago. The way things are there are far too few ways in the US to get that first 5 years experience out of school in my field. It is no wonder that an ever increasing number of candidates are visa holders, green card holders, and so on.

        An ever-increasing cost of education paired with ridiculous employment filters serve to do nothing more than usher in the era of UBI that much faster. Automation is working to destroy the entry-level employment opportunities that represent the lower rungs on the proverbial ladder of success, making it essentially impossible to climb.

        Greed will ultimately be the demise of the traditional education and employment system.

  • We need to break down the ivory tower monopoly.

    Even community colleges have credit transfer issues even in state now some go there as it's easier others do it as it can cost way less.

    ITT , UOP, devry and have tried in some ways but they still got sucked into the system and did a poor job at the GEN EDU / accreditation parts while doing better at the real skills parts.

    Tribeca Flashpoint College is good but it started mainly with just being 2 years (now they do have 4 year plans) but they have the same accre

    • Slashdot users broadly appeal to how college trustees aren't paid and how this is the recipe for success. Traditional colleges are taking "the profit motive out".

      Well, that is NOT how Netflix became a success.

      Netflix makes a lot of money giving ordinary people (i.e. the people Hillary Clinton's campaign staff explicitly said she hates) what they want. Traditional universities just offer a lot of bloviation and buffoonery that some people hope will help them find a job but don't value or respect very m
  • like we had in the 80s and 90s before Reagan/Clinton. We don't need more info. Kids are awash in info. The internet means that with a little to no cash you can get practically everything you need on any subject up through the 400 college levels. Math, Engineering, Medicine. You name it. There's hands on stuff you can't learn otherwise, but 'Netflix for education' won't help there.

    This is just another cynical attempt to justify the continued cuts to education. Works too.
  • If I need a quick and dirty introduction to a subject, I would grabbed a Dummies book [amazon.com]. When I was the lead tester for Backyard Football, Backyard Baseball and Backyard Hockey for the Nintendo GameCube/GBA at Atari, I grabbed the Dummies book for each sport, got up to speed to understand each sport, and used it as a reference during testing.
  • Knowledge and experiments need reproducibility. If Alice finds/asserts some fact, then Bob needs to be able to find it or establish it in the same way, or he won't be convinced. If information is "personalized" such that different people see different things, this will foil reproducibility. No one will believe anyone else. No one will be able to find/confirm what anyone else is talking about. Everyone will be in a little Matrix-like silo being unable to talk to others.

    We already have this problem with custo

  • Declara is far along the path to developing the capabilities this article describes. They have active networks in Australia and Mexico and have one under development in California called Collaboration in Common. References to Coursera and Khan miss the importance of developing informal professional learning exchanges that take place around a team effort to create something. They also do not follow personal needs and interests and introduce content and expertise based on a person's current interest and focus
  • Is it you?

  • Netflix of knowledge? What fucking moron came up with that analogy. Seriously? Your brain cells could go no further than Netflix. And I hate to break it to you, that's what the fucking World Wide Web is!
  • Get a course list from a university on the subject of interest. Look up the book requirements for each class and see if you can find the chapters/material covered in a posted syllabus. Buy an edition of that book that is 1 or 2 editions out of date for less than $40 on Amazon. Hire a tutor to work with 2-3 times a week as you work through the material. Use the hell out of videos on YouTube/Khan Academy. After 2-4 years of study you will have a similar level of education to that of a college graduate.
  • Before Netflix, Spotify, Reddit and similar curated content apps, you had to go to numerous sources to find the shows, music, news and other media you wished to view.

    The Pirate Bay was the one stop shop, not Netflix and Spotify. We should probably copy TPB's model and use it for education and not the grossly incompetent Reddit, StackExchange, etc.

  • Trawl. You trawl for information. Is this stuff really that hard?

  • I never trust the number of stars users have voted on. It's worthless.
  • I'm not sure where to start with this one; so I'll go with the classics and mention the "library", a convenient institution that has provided both a professionally selected collection and access to a very broad range of material(sometimes only by request, if it's an obscure thing that needs to be inter-library loaned). You might have heard of them; they've only been around for longer than most contemporary nation states.

    As for the "cry, cry, searching the web is hard and things aren't centralized!!!"; yo
  • >Just as Netflix delivers entertainment we want Netflix streams content and I cannot pay the content creator directly. I can pirate mkvs with much higher bitrates given to the codec within, use them on any player and edit them how I please. I do not want the educational version of that.

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