Entrepreneurship accelerator threatens to disrupt Higher Ed model – or is it emperor’s new clothes?

It’s difficult to know what to make of the General Assembly ‘accelerator’ that’s at the centre of this post, because there’s so little detail. “So will we open a bunch more campuses? Put all our classes online? Start training executives? We don’t know,” writes cofounder Brad Harvgreaves in a linked article (http://www.businessinsider.com/general-assembly-financing-expands-abroad-2011-9). “Right now we’re singularly focused on continuing to create a great, meaningful experience at our New York campus.” Hmmm, what kind of great, meaningful experience would that be? It may share something with the unstructured, improvised, feral qualities of Xskool, as linked to yesterday.

There’s always a lingering doubt that innovations like these could be a case of emperor’s new clothes. As noted below, among the “new learning” spaces, some will be great, and some will be awful. Jeff Bezos is one of the people who’s contributed to the $4.25 million investment in General Assembly. Eccentric he may be, but not easily suckered, you’d think.

Clipped from johngeraci.com

Higher Education About To Be Disrupted Right Before Our Very Eyes

Think about this: going to one of the several new media graduate programs here in NYC for a two-year degree without a scholarship would cost you in the neighborhood of $60,000 (plus living expenses of course). Out of that you get: two years of hard work, access to the top thinkers in your field, feedback and instruction, and a community of like-minded people working alongside you. Coming out you get a great professional network, and a (useless) degree to hang on your wall. If you’ve applied yourself, your work is much stronger as a result, and better career options await you.

Now think about a co-working space / accelerator such as General Assembly: the cost for “going” there is an order of magnitude smaller than $60k. Out of that you get: access to the top thinkers in your field, feedback and instruction, a community of like-minded people working alongside you. Coming out you get a professional network. You don’t get a useless degree to hang on your wall (yet). If you’ve applied yourself, your work is much stronger as a result and better career options await you.

I think money is going to pile into this. And I think we will see a giant wave of “new learning” spaces around the world. Some will be great. Some will be awful.
I’m not celebrating this or complaining about it. I’m just saying: there’s a huge opening here for a correction and a new way of thinking, and it’s going to happen right before our eyes.

Read more at johngeraci.com

 
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