TED Talk Thursday – Shimon Schocken: The self-organizing computer course

According to ted.com: “Shimon Schocken and Noam Nisan developed a curriculum for their students to build a computer, piece by piece. When they put the course online — giving away the tools, simulators, chip specifications and other building blocks — they were surprised that thousands jumped at the opportunity to learn, working independently as well as organizing their own classes in the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). A call to forget about grades and tap into the self-motivation to learn.”

“Shimon Schocken is a former dean at Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, a new Israeli private university which he helped found in 1995. He’s also taught at NYU, Harvard and Stanford. Together with Noam Nisan he developed a freely available, open-source, self-paced program for learning applied computer science: The Elements of Computing Systems. Offered in 2005, this led to one of the first successful open online courses. Now, courses based on the approach are offered by traditional universities as well as in crowd-sourced settings, and have been taken freely by thousands of self-learners over the web. Registration, lecture and project schedules are managed by volunteer course coordinators, and student questions are answered by the course alumni community.”

Enjoy this evocative and inspirational talk.

For those of you not familiar with TED Talks here is a brief summery from www.ted.com: “TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize”

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I look forward to your thoughts and comments!

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