F.ounders, the highly prestigious event we called the Rolls Royce of technology events back in November, is back for its first non-Dublin event, bringing together 100′s of highly noteworthy entrepreneurs and investors in NYC.
On stage right now is an intense panel on education: “Who needs teachers anyway? Cracking the education code,” with Jose Ferreira of Knewton, Michael Karnjanaprakorn of Skillshare, Zach Sims of Codecademy and Osman Rachid of Kno and NT Etuk of DimensionU.
Most notably, the talk surrounds how students are starting to question the entire institution of education. Zach Sims of Codecademy said that “education needs to be disrupted from the outside,” and similarly Michael Karnjanaprakorn of Skillshare says that disruption of this industry needs to happen from the bottom up for anything to change.
David Kirkpatrick of Techonomy asked the panel what money actually exists in education and how can this sort innovation be financed. Although no company on the panel admitted to profitability, Jose Ferreira of Knewton says that “I don’t think money will be a problem.” Online classes already have a very high margin of profitability, and as this rate grows, more and more services will undoubtedly need to emerge to cater to these growing needs. Osman Rachid of Kno continues that point, stating that the cost of education is on the decline.
With emerging technologies becoming more prevalent, Kirkpatrick asked if teachers will actually be needed at all in the future. The entire panel seemed to tread this question carefully, but Michael Karnjanaprakorn of Skillshare said that we are going to “start seeing a new definition of what education means.” Osman Rachid of Kno said that the next generation of teachers are already embracing new technology — so it looks like there’s quite a bit of promise here for bringing in new innovations, as well as improving existing methods.
Stay tuned for more from today’s event, which counts Steve Case, David Karp, Chad Dickerson and Fred Wilson as speakers, to name a few. To learn more about F.ounders and last year’s event, check out our full review here.
Image: Sleepyneko via Flickr