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IDEA #99 – Group Learning of Anything in Weeks!

Honestly, I don’t know much about the online learning sector — maybe this is already done. But the post ‘Learn Ruby in 3 Weeks‘ by Al Abut inspired this post [despite his post being 3 years old].

He says in his post that he’s planning to learn Ruby on Rails in 3 weeks. He planned to use the book ‘Sams Teach Yourself Ruby in 21 Days‘, which is available on Amazon.com. He said he was going to start 2 weeks from the day he made this original post, which provided enough time for others to buy the book and get ready for the learning. He was then going to make a blog post each day regarding the learnings, which then others could obviously comment on and discuss.

What a great idea. I could see this idea evolving in various ways — there’d be a central site for all these group learning subjects to take place. Just like how you’d signup for a class on the Internet, or for an in-person classroom class to learn something, you’d do that on this site. Maybe someone(s) posts a subject with a curriculum — which uses a course book they designate, and/or uses various online reading (video, photos, etc) materials that are available for free.

Maybe these curriculums are in a wiki, so that others can edit them and add to them — eventually creating the best curriculum to learning any subject.

Why isn’t there a free online university? People could volunteer as “teachers” — maybe “students” pay a $5 or $20 course fee, which goes to the volunteer (much like how referrees in intramural and bar leagues get paid; or like how Meetup.com charges for their group meetup pages).

Anyhow, if you wanted to learn Ruby on Rails — wouldn’t you rather do it with a group of others? I’m one that is motivated easier by knowing others are doing something with me and relying on me.

Thoughts? Don’t forget, TechStars is accepting applications for the summer, this could be your idea to use!

  • http://teachstreet.com Joseph

    These are the types of discussions we should really have today. How can we revolutionize education in our world today. There are a lot of companies out there trying to do this, who are passionate about education in general. Along with us here at TeachStreet, other companies like eduFire are sparking a fire under folks surrounding education.

    Here’s a great writeup on the recent Hacking Education conference that happened last week:
    http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2009/03/hacking-education-continued.html

    Cheers,
    Joseph Sunga

    Community Developer @ TeachStreet.com

  • Jefri

    I think this might be an old post, but if you still read your comments I agree that there needs to be a system that can be similar to meetup but with more structure. I for one don’t want to go back to school to pay a great deal of money again to learn something that might pay off or not. However, I wish Coursera or some of this other online learning platforms would have a meetup type of environment. Don’t get me wrong, self-study is great and all but it is not the same as taking it with someone. Just having one person in the same class with you that you check on with makes a huge difference. There is something about social that is not realized in some of these online environments. I think there should be a site where people decide to join some classes together and it has to be facebook verified because you want a record of the people doing it. Just in case something happens. Of course you will say to meet in public places, but safety is always a priority. But people don’t have to meet in person as well. They could use google hangouts. THe point of the site is to connect people with a similar purpose. They are there to accomplish that goal. I know there are forums, but if only there was a way to make it more appealing.