November
2013
10

The results of online learning

Julius Yego

To continue talking about education, online learning and new technologies after the post about Isaac Asimov and education, I believe I could not find a better example than Julius Yego.

 

Julius Yego is a Kenyan javelin thrower. However this is not what makes him someone special. But what does makes him special is that he is a self taught javelin thrower from a poor country (HDI index of 0.519, position 145 out of 186) with absolutely no support for javelin throwing.

 

He started from nothing, no coach, no money to pay for his training, no special equipment and that did not stop him. He never gave up and recently was classified this august as 4th on the world championships in Moscow 2013. On 2012, he made history as the first African Javelin thrower to qualify for the Olympics finale in London. This is the result of his determination and online learning.

 

His method was simple: passion and technology. He is his own coach; well he and the videos available on Youtube. He circumvented the lack of proper coaches by spending hours at cyber cafes in Nairobi to improve his technique by watching and learning from his idols.

 

Here is a video of himself explaining his story. Short video (around 2 minutes).

 

 

I truly believe he earned his nickname as Mister YouTube Man.

 

This is a great example of the possibilities people can achieve by online learning nowadays. And this example is from a poor country with limited resources.… Read the rest of “The results of online learning”

October
2013
19

Isaac Asimov and Education

Isaac Asimov

I think one of the greatest minds of the last century was Isaac Asimov. He wrote more than 500 books in various genres and is considered one of the biggest science fiction writers in history. I am a big fan of his most famous work, the Foundation Series. Enough presentations for a man that needs no introductions. If you want to learn more about him, you can always start by reading his entry in Wikipedia.

 

This time I am sharing an interview of Isaac Asimov on Bill Moyers World of Ideas. One of the most interesting parts of the interview is when he speaks about education, or to be precise about his vision of the future of education. You should keep in mind that it was 1988, so no internet, no Wikipedia, no Khan Academy and no Coursera.

Here is a fragment of the interview (In English with Spanish subtitles for those who are more comfortable in that language).

 

 

If you want to see the whole interview, you can access it clicking by here on the link to Isaac Asimov on Bill Moyers World of Ideas.

 

He explains that before in old days people who wanted an education and were privileged enough needed to hire a personal tutor. We had a one-to-one relationship for the few people who were able to pay for a tutor. Then we reached a point where there was one teacher for a great number of students, organized through a curricula or syllabus to teach from.… Read the rest of “Isaac Asimov and Education”