That technology is changing the way we think of education is a fact that few can deny, especially in 2012. As we look ahead 10 years from now, one potential implication of the use of technology and the break-down of traditional institutions of learning, such as universities, could be the emergence of the superstar teacher.
What do I mean by the superstar (or celebrity) teacher?
Imagine for a moment, that everyone student in the world who is interested in learning about a particular topic is able to access content created by the best teacher for that subject. Students in Vietnam tuning into Physics lectures by Einstein; or taking philosophy classes from Daniel Kahneman. Daniel Kahneman instantly goes from being able to teach 500 students over 10 years, to teaching 50000 students every year !
The best teachers of any, and every subject in the world have a massive opportunity to reach each and every student interested in learning from them, through the use of simple broadcasting tools. This will give rise to a new class of celebrities, teachers !
Teachers are no longer required to restrict themselves to teaching primarily at elite institutions to have a great impact on society, but rather aim to reach a global audience with their product. This also changes the fundamental economics of education and the opportunity for outstanding compensation for outstanding educators !
To wrap, I want to add that Dr Sebastian Thrun recently resigned from Stanford to launch his own platform to deliver his courses — complete with lectures, grading, and classrooms. Salman Khan of the Khan Academy is another prominent example !
The celebrity teacher will enjoy the same kind of following, fame, and fortune as leading Hollywood artists. Sebastian is one of the first celebrity teachers !