Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Stanford gives away knowledge for free, Network is the computer

Did anyone see this today?

First virtual high school for the gifted

Stanford has created a prep school on the internet. For years, they have offered courses during the summer time and via the internet to students who wanted to audit a course or get additional AP credits for their impending college application. But, they have gone all out and attempted to fill the void for those who are bored with their high school offerings or non-existent high school offerings. It is especially interesting if they take it as far as some schools have done, like in Colorado, where they have created virtual high schools accessing state funding for those students. Stanford is relying on the affluent parents or supergeeks to enroll in the new service. This is just following the lead of the universities that have had elearning and distance learning programs for decades.

As we know though one of the major barriers to the successful business models is the cost of hardware needed to serve up the courses. Stanford may be able to afford this for the 12,000 per student fee. How will eCollege do it?

Maybe the answer is just in their backyard......The Network is the Computer

Globalize knowledge now.

Internet in every Indian home

China, India, Africa make up three of the largest land masses and largest population groups outside of the developed world but only account for a fraction of the internet users in the world. However, with great advances in e-learning and knowledge acquisition via the internet channel this channel may provide an even bigger revolution than the industrial revolution did in Western Europe and America. Many used ambitious terms to describe the internet revolution in the past two decades like knowledge revolution or the information age but without the mass adoption globally the true revolution has yet to occur. The missing ingredient to the revolution is ACCESS.

Finding the answer to the digital divide has been the missing ingredient in this revolution, like the steam engine was the missing ingredient in the

Who are the companies that are leading this new revolution? Sun Microsystems and Google. You ask how? Well take a look at an exerpt from a recently published article by the Next Inning
From the report: "One of the huge challenges for emerging nations is the price
of the computer needed to access the Internet. We've seen initiatives, including
one that proposes to give away literally millions of hand-cranked computers that
cost an estimated $150, to help spread Internet access capabilities to the
people of emerging nations more quickly. However, all of these strategies have
drawbacks. A scheme using 'Network Computers' would be cheaper..."

The full text version can be found here.

But so we all found out during the first revolution "Content is King" or "Queen" whatever your preference may be so this is where it is really important to pay attention......Google will survive only if it's content is relevant to the third world and or assets are relelvant. The Google initiative with digitizing books will make knowledge relevant to the next revolution.

How will others contribute to the final stages of this revolution? Can companies successfully monetize this strategy or is it truly for the great good of humanity? Surely those that rant against the virtues of globalization do not see the potential positives that will ride on the commercial coattails of Walmart, Global Warming and continents and people crossing the digital divide.