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Oct 09, 2016 10:33 PM EDT

Netscape Co-Founder Marc Andreesen Says Software Will Disrupt Education

TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2016 - Day 2
Entrepreneur Marc Andreessen speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2016 at Pier 48 on September 13, 2016 in San Francisco, California.
(Photo : Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

Netscape co-founder Marc Andreesen made a bold prophecy in a recent interview that software and the Internet will soon disrupt education and change learning despite its failure to do so in the past.

For years, educators and tech scientists have been pushing the idea of integrating education and technology together but with little results to show for it. However, that is about to change Andreesen said as more and more hybrid human and software combinations come up. One of the examples he gave was AltSchool, which is introducing a new approach on learning by establishing schools powered by technology and letting teachers and software teach students together.

He said that such approach is not only child-centric but parent-centric as well because both teachers and software connect with students in a unique way. At the same time, software is helping parents and teachers give the students a better experience.

What AltSchool is doing in primary education, Udacity is doing in higher education by offering nano degrees, which are a result of a partnership between Udacity and companies. Nanodegrees are sponsored by employers so that there will be more talents to fill the need their companies are looking for. Some of the nano degrees they are offering right now include building a self-driving car and learning how to code. However, this is just the beginning of what he calls as disruptive education.

Disruptive education he said is not about finding a better solution to someone who's already well-served but it's about providing a better solution to the underserved. The underserved, he explained are those students who are as smart and have great potential than those who are going to Harvard or Stanford but have no opportunity because of different factors, such as financial or geographical. The most interesting fact is a lot of students in the world are underserved.

He also added that there's not just enough time to build physical universities and train more teachers to serve these students, and this is where software comes in. Software along with YouTube videos have great potential in reaching out these underserved students and provide them the quality of learning they need. Surprisingly, this kind of disruption will not largely happen in the US but outside and the percentage is shifting more and more.

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