Here are links to three November 2011 "canteen" interviews (audio and, in two cases helpful text transcripts) with Peter Norvig (Director of Research at Google), Dan Cardinali (President of Communities in Schools) and Paul Mitiguy (Senior Consulting Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University). The interviews form part of the resources of an undergraduate project by Deniz Kahramaner, Jon Rodriguez and Ben Kallman about "the challenges and ethical implications of implementing large-scale distance education platforms".
The interview with Peter Norvig draws on his contemporaneous experience with the Stanford/KnowLabs Introduction to Artificial Intelligence course [November 2011 article in ALT News Online; my weekly reports from the course] and contains several perceptive and diverse insights, ranging over:
- course design (and the advantages of combining the deadline driven "discipline" of face-to-face learning with the "anytime anyplace" nature of asynchronous learning);
- the advantages (from a learner's point of view) of video, and challenges (from a course design point of view) of using it;
- the need for design/production environments for teachers and for experimentation/exploration environments for learners;
- the value, from a learning point of view, of ambiguity in presentations and open-endedness in questions;
- recruitment (and a possible business model for providers of free remote education);
- the possible motivations for teachers to contribute to the production of free courses;
- the need for collegiality and collaboration between the start-ups that are getting involved in online education.