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How Would You Spend $100 Million?
January 17, 2011 - 8:30pm

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?


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