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Education Programming

Rise of the Online Code Schools 98

Barence writes "When it comes to programming, the classroom is moving online. A new wave of start-ups has burst onto the scene over the last year, bringing interactive lessons and gamification techniques to the subject to make coding trendy again. From Codecademy — and its incredibly successful Code Year initiative — to Khan Academy, Code School and Udacity, online learning is now sophisticated and high-tech — but is it good enough to replace the classroom? 'We are the first five or six chapters in a book,' says Code School's Gregg Pollack in this exploration of online code classes, but with the number of sites and lessons growing by the week that might not be the case for long."
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Rise of the Online Code Schools

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  • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Monday November 26, 2012 @10:40AM (#42093623)

    They sell you their prestige, their accreditation, their confirmation that you at least showed up to class for four years and jumped through the basic hoops.

    These online schools will give you knowledge. But it's always been possible to get that outside of the traditional classroom anyway. There are plenty of self-taught programmers out there (and in plenty of other fields to).

    But the thing they're lacking right now is the ability to give you a piece of paper that will get you past HR to a job interview.

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @11:04AM (#42093827) Homepage

    Regular universities can and do sell you a great deal more than that, including:
    - research opportunities
    - highly skilled mentors and teachers
    - a real-world community of people studying both the same sort of things as you, and wildly different sorts of things
    - regular social contact with relatively capable and intelligent people of the appropriate sex (for straight guys, be aware that a significant majority of college students are women, so the odds are very much in your favor)

    If your goal in life is to code 8-10 hours a day and use the rest of your time to watch TV, movies, or play video games, then you're right that university is basically useless. If you have any ambitions beyond that, then take the regular university degree if you can at all manage to do that.

  • by jythie ( 914043 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @11:09AM (#42093875)
    I think a lot of it comes down to culture and values. Keep in mind that a surprising number of tech people are anti-education and anti-intellectual.. so things like research and learning from skilled people are not just of little value to them but are actively scoffed at. The pattern of the 'self taught programmer who makes millions and shows all those ivory tower intellectuals how it is done!' is a powerful myth that people latch on to.
  • by scruffy ( 29773 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:01PM (#42095013)
    One of the biggest issues for current MOOCs is the large attrition rate (in the 90% range). Assuming that people signing up are at least average intelligence (on average of course), this suggests that average students are unable, for whatever reasons, to complete these courses. Part of it is that the instructors come from elite universities, are used to teaching elite students, and approach the MOOC in the same way, leaving the average student in the dust. Another part is that average students lack the motivation, discipline, as well as the smarts to learn complex concepts without a real-life instruction.

The Macintosh is Xerox technology at its best.