Anya Kamenetz has an article in this month's Fast Company, "How to Spend $100 Million to Really Save Education". $100 million is the amount that Mark Zuckerberg pledged to the Newark school system.
How would you spend $100 million on higher ed?
For my higher ed $100 million I'd:
- Start a new university.
- Make the fees sliding scale, but the courses and educational experience world-class.
- Focus on the liberal arts - for which a rigorous background should not be reserved for the most affluent.
- Make it fully virtual and online, with not only no campus but no offices.
- Recruit of cadre of full-time faculty who love to teach, want the flexibility of online learning, and are mission driven to reform higher ed.
- Rely on donated, cloud based learning and student management platforms.
- Rely on donated hardware (notebooks and mobile devices) so that all students have a level playing field for learning.
- Rely on open source curriculum.
- Make all of the courses, curriculum, and learning materials open and transparent to the world (while protecting the privacy of the students).
- Encourage and facilitate the adoption of full course designs by other institutions.
- Actively seek out to utilize existing best-in-practice course designs, curriculum and materials.
- Celebrate the institutions or companies that provide best practices, courses, technology or services publicly.
- Make all faculty development materials transparent and open.
- Make all costs transparent to students, faculty, the donor community and the world.
- Commit to rapidly scaling up the number of students that can be accommodated within the boundaries of insuring a long-term sustainable fiscal model.
At this point in my career, I have the knowledge and networks to start this type of institution (and get universities to share courses and companies to share technologies), what I lack is the $100 million.
Would you want to be a part of building this new university?