Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina

Michael Feldstein, Dec 19, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The main argument here is that education is way too complex to be 'solved' by an inventor with a single product. People have very different needs, and no single product can address them. Hence the comeuppance of Udacity and Sebastian Thrun. I think we all knew that. Buried in the article is this nugget: "The real revolution in software over the last decade has been in product design and development techniques that give us much better ways to understand the real and specific needs of well-defined classes of users. There is a range of these methodologies, but they all build from the common bedrock conviction that you don’t understand your users’ needs when you start." I think that's true - but it's still a challenge to convince software engineers to design iteratively, rather than to shoot for the finished product from the start.

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