By Sara Grossman
Bill Gates says that this is the “golden era” of learning, thanks to massive open online courses and easy access to information. The chairman of Microsoft gave the keynote address on Monday at Microsoft Research’s Faculty Summit, an annual event that brings together Microsoft researchers and academics from more than 200 institutions for a two-day conference in Redmond, Wash., on current issues facing computer science.
At the summit, Mr. Gates told the audience that he sees enormous potential for MOOCs but cautioned that online education still faces many challenges. He also talked briefly about online education during an question-and-answer session with the audience.
In the Q&A, Mr. Gates predicted that MOOCs would not be “place-based” classes but would be led by a small subset of instructors who taught to a broad audience. There’s a set of people, he said, who are really good at it and who have big budgets and great support.
Mr. Gates said online education is “certainly going to happen” but emphasized that there’s more to learning than simply lectures. He cautioned that it was important not to forget the value of in-class learning, especially in lab work and in collaborative study groups.
[ Full article available at The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/bill-gates-discusses-moocs-at-microsoft-researchs-faculty-summit/44809 ]