Data and Language

A Ted talk by Deb Roy on the birth of a word:

What I'd like to see is the link between media consumption and thoughts, which I suspect affect beliefs. How to get at thoughts? A user's online journal, blog or social media posts.

Like a baby learns to talk, I can imagine a person's belief formations or reinforcement can be tracked. What do you think?

Are Teachers the New Video Stars?

Many companies are using video to disrupt education. But as I learned when I took the first Stanford AI course, video transmission doesn't necessarily mean great teaching!

Some interesting stats from that Stanford AI course:

160,000 signed up from all over the world except North Korea and 23,000 finished the course. That's a 14% completion rate. The top 410 students in the class were online students (not Stanford students). The highest Stanford student came in at 411.

There's been a lot of buzz around the course, but I don't think the outcome of the course demonstrates that teaching via online is an improvement. If anything, it proves that there are smart folks in other parts of the world who want access to credible information.

But as for solving the education problem in the U.S.? I'm not so sure.