The Quantum Pontiff

Google Code University

Last year, Google announced a set of resource to help students and faculty with CS education. They’ve revamped the set of resources and redesigned the web page and all the jazzy stuff to produce: Google Code University. Marty Stepp, whose courses are featured in the Google code university, has his office just down the hall from me. His name plate says “Marty Stepp++”

Being someone who teaches (pay no attention to the “research assistant professor” title), I often wonder about how the web and technology is going to change our educational system. While I certainly am sympathetic to the notion that straight lecturing is a very poor way to teach, there is something to be said for having this form of teaching digitized, searchable, scanable, and widely available for free on the internet. In other words, how long before Google Code University (and its relatives) starts to eat into the traditional brick and mortar educational institutes?

Comments

  1. #1 JohnQPublic
    March 19, 2008

    Do you really think Google Code University “certification” will ever carry the weight of, say, an MIT degree? In the end, no one can truly assess everything you know so there is always a reliance on the reputation of your education.

  2. #2 Corey
    March 20, 2008

    Sure, an MIT degree is nice, but as far as Comp Sci is concerned, you need to be able to do things to make it in the field, and if you can demonstrate that without a degree I think you can still find the jobs.

  3. #3 Dave Bacon
    March 20, 2008

    I suspect “certification”s will always have a connotation which keeps in a different category than degrees. Do I think an online certification could have huge value to certain employers? Yes. Do I think the value of a degree from an online source will be huge? Harder to say, but my gut says this isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.

  4. #4 David Bruggeman
    March 21, 2008

    I see no indication that GCU plans to offer certification of any sort. It appears to be an online resource for course material, a bare-bones OpenCourseWare. Having seen Google staff present GCU, they don’t appear to want any more than that.

    As for online universities eating into brick and mortar campuses, that started a while ago. Online courses are even well established at some universities as part of their regular offerings. I’m scheduled to teach an online-only course this summer, and took an online-only course back in 2001.

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