Last Friday, March 1st, Mendeley co-founder Jan Reichelt went to the London Web Summit to discuss what the future holds in store for Online Education. The panel, which explored the issues behind the explosion of EdTech, also included Chip Paucek (CEO of online degrees start-up 2U), Andrew Ng (Co-Founder of Coursera, a platform for universities to provide free online courses) and Memrise Co-Founder Ed Cooke
Jan talked about how Mendeley’s 2 million users contribute an enormous amount of scientific data to the platform, which then allows developers to build interesting and useful applications on its open API.
There is no doubt that web adoption is increasing, specially within education, accelerated even more by the introduction of new and improved web technologies. Andrew from Coursera, who is a professor at Stanford, told of how through his online course he now routinely reached 100,000 students where before he would be teaching 400.
The panelists agreed that availability, access to, and accreditation of high quality online learning will only increase in future; Online lectures will continue to permeate traditional learning and will free up more and more time for professors to do more interactive and one-to-one learning in class.
Enabling more effective collaboration and communication online was a key theme of the panel, and Jan explained Mendeley’s vision of building a global platform for research collaboration, and helping researcher’s workflow to speed up science.
The panel thought it was important not to focus on platforms for their own sake, but to also make sure they solve real problems and address real needs of institutions as well as individuals; schools embracing the web makes a huge difference. Businesses like 2U and Coursera exist because of their ability to partner with such institutions, and Mendeley’s Institutional Edition has been adopted by some of the world’s leading universities since its launch last year.
You can watch a video of the panel here