Online education, then, can serve two goals. For students lucky enough to have access to great teachers, blended learning can mean even better outcomes at the same or lower cost. And for the millions here and abroad who lack access to good, in-person education, online learning can open doors that would otherwise remain closed.
Not everything that happens in an in-person classroom is currently replicated with an online course, and perhaps the experience will never be the quite the same. But there are new opportunities that online learning opens up that would have never been possible without this technology.
I feel strongly that degrees are really valuable to people, and having MOOCs allow for credit down the line will increase the number of students with the confidence and wherewithal to complete degrees.
Our approach to education has remained largely unchanged since the Renaissance: From middle school through college, most teaching is done by an instructor lecturing to a room full of students, only some of them paying attention.
Current ethos in Silicon Valley is that if you build a website that people keep coming back to and is changing the lives of millions, you can eventually make money.