Sebastian Thrun, an ‘oily charlatan’?

I’ve written a couple of times about Sebastian Thrun, and not always in complimentary fashion. In the first piece from 2012 I could be accused of calling him a ‘knucklehead’. The second in 2013 was more a tracking of his change of heart and mind, from messianic mission to hard-headed business. Continue reading

Sebastian Thrun has had a word with himself

Sixteen months ago I wrote an intemperate post about Sebastian Thrun (‘Someone please have a word with Sebastian Thrun!‘), galvanised by his seemingly breathtaking ignorance of the research literature concerning online learning. Had he acquainted himself with such literature, or had a word with someone familiar with ODL and online learning (e.g. any of the names on the links list at the right), he could have saved himself a couple of years in coming to the position he now apparently holds. This position is at serious odds with some of the outlandish claims he and others previously made concerning MOOCs. Continue reading

Someone please have a word with Sebastian Thrun!

“I haven’t seen a single study showing that online learning is as good as other learning.” (Quote from ‘Universities reshaping education on the web‘ in The Age – original in The New York Times)  This knuckleheaded claim was apparently made (apologies if the quote was wrong) by a leader in the current wave of online learning technologies, one Sebastian Thrun of Stanford University. That it was made at all is surprising, but to have been uttered by ‘a master of MOOCs’ is astonishing. Continue reading