A number of articles last week reported on the progress of all the online outfits that we all keep hearing about: Coursera and Udacity reporting on their enrollment numbers; students coping with these new online environments; and an update on the folks who Peter Thiel encouraged to drop out of college to pursue entrepreneurial interests. Also, an interesting TEDx presentation by Mark Horner of Siyavula. If you’re unaware of what this organization has been up to, take 15 minutes to watch this video and learn about the progress they’re making for open textbooks in South Africa.

Have a great week!

Monday Morning Digest – August 20, 2012

Last year, Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPay, encouraged 24 individuals with $100,000 to drop out of college and pursue entrepreneurship. A year later, all 24 individuals are active in the fellowship program: this article explores where five of these individuals are with their start-ups.

Not everyone is jumping on the MOOC bandwagon. Here’s a write-up from a professor who gives 5 reasons why these online education outfits won’t be replacing traditional college any time soon.

Access to education – and specifically textbooks – is a major problem in South Africa. Siyavula is one group based in Cape Town that is championing open textbooks for South African children and has already made a number of texts available for free. This TED video captures Siyavula’s Director, Mark Horner, discussing the organization’s approach to open textbooks.

ICYMI: Coursera has reached a milestone with one million students registered for its courses. Udacity is just behind at 739,000.

A common complaint about online learning is the lack of student-to-student interaction. This article explores how students are approaching this issue: by creating study groups of their own. While some groups are in-person study groups, others are formed over social media outlets like Google+ and Facebook.
The image “Studying at laptop”  came from Flickr user Saad Faruque and is licensed under a Creative Commons CC BY-SA license.