Giving Compass’ Take:
• There is a twenty-two story tower called the MOOC Times Building in China’s capital that is an incubator for edtech companies and startups. China is starting to prioritize and create more online learning education opportunities for its students.
• Justin Reich, director of the Teaching Systems Lab at MIT, notes that online learning could be very beneficial for China, especially in reaching rural populations. Are there potential barriers to the addition of online learning for Chinese students?
• Read more about the changing education system in China.
The Chinese government is pushing online education these days, and like so many things in this country of 1.4 billion people, that means going big. One sign of that: There’s a 22-story tower in the country’s capital officially named the “MOOC Times Building” that houses a government-supported incubator for edtech companies.
The building boasts two tricked-out production studios that any of the companies in the industry park can use to film and edit video for courses. Most of the occupants offer products or services in online learning, though not necessarily massive open online courses or MOOCs, despite being the building’s namesake.
The building sits in the Zhongguancun area of Beijing, which is known as China’s “Silicon Valley.” As the education market in China grows, the facility has recently started encouraging some of the larger companies to leave the nest and make room for smaller ventures that are just getting started, said Bill Ning, founding partner of Blue Elephant Capital, a venture-capital firm that is also located in the building and invests in some of the companies there.
The biggest new initiative of the MOOC Times Building is an attempt to attract international companies to set up offices here.
Justin Reich, director of the Teaching Systems Lab at MIT, visited the building a couple of years ago, and was struck by how government leaders he spoke with stressed that they wanted to let market forces shape online learning.
In a blog post he wrote about his visit, Reich noted that online education may be especially helpful in addressing China’s rural education needs, since the demand for education far exceeds the supply of teachers in many places.
Read the full article about online learning in China by Jeffrey R. Young at EdSurge
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