The disruption of education: How technology is helping students teach themselves


Gigaom

By now, most of us have become pretty used to the ways that technology — both devices and social web services — have changed things we have always taken for granted, whether it’s communication or photography, or something as obvious as renting an apartment or hailing a cab.

But those same kinds of disruptions are moving into new areas, and education is one of them. From university classes via YouTube and startups like Udacity to the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, there are more ways than ever for children to educate themselves, even in remote villages in Ethiopia. Despite the inevitable criticisms such efforts get both from within the education system and outside it, it’s part of a powerful and growing phenomenon.

One example: At a recent conference on emerging technology at MIT, Nicholas Negroponte — the former head of the MIT Media Lab and founder of…

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