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While centuries of scientific discoveries and scholarly advancements have transformed just about every facet of the modern curriculum, the way in which our educational system teaches students still remains largely unchanged. Today, the majority of students at the university level learn from printed books (or codices), an invention of the early 6th century; through lectures, a passive form of learning developed in the Medieval period; and via rote learning, a method of memorization through repetition and association discovered by psychologists in the late 18th century.
Although technology has developed rapidly in recent decades, our universities have been shockingly slow to adopt new learning methods and media, with the majority of institutions holding onto these centuries-old teaching methods and millennia-old tools. Therefore, with the structure of traditional universities remaining largely unchanged for generations, we’ve also come to expect the college learning experience to be basically the same for our children and their children, as well.
Unfortunately, despite a lack of significant change to the traditional university model, one cannot say the same about tuition costs. Within a period of just 30 years, average tuition costs quintupled in current dollars and more than doubled when adjusted for inflation. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the tuition cost of a 4-year public university in 2015 was $19,189 per year in real dollars, while the cost in 1985 was just $8,449 per year. Perhaps today’s students should be demanding more for the massive uptick in the price?
Starting with the campaign to place the Apple II computer in American schools in 1978, EdTech innovators like Steve Wozniak began to reshape how our children learn. Through the use of interactive technology, Wozniak believed, children would become more engaged and active during the learning process, enabling them to develop and learn faster. And in continuation of Wozniak’s legacy of disrupting education through technology, Apple themselves put the iPad into schools over three decades later.
Around the same time, other huge strides were made in EdTech, including the development of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) by universities like MIT, Stanford, and Harvard, and the growing adoption of LMSs (Learning Management Systems) like BlackBoard. Innovations were also seen on the consumer side of EdTech with the release of gamified learning apps like DuoLingo.
Among all of the advancements made in EdTech in recent decades, a few trends stand out from the rest, such as a renewed focus on tech-centric programs, the use of mobile devices to learn on the go, personalized learning models, online courses, an emphasis on coding education, student assessments, and the use of EdTech products for professional development. Many leading EdTech companies have either made their offerings free to consumers or have adopted B2B business models to reduce costs for the learner.
Due to the increasing popularity of mobile apps, EdTech offerings have also evolved to include key features such as gamification, improved ease of access and mobility, and micro-credentials.
Not only does Woz U’s curriculum teach students the latest technology but it also utilizes it to create an engaging and effective learning environment. And, Woz U checks all the boxes you would expect to see in a modern EdTech platform while going beyond the status quo. Here’s what Woz U Offers:
Instructional content is delivered through captivating video with diagrams and animations designed to encourage retention of complex topics.
Lesson content is delivered through rich media, including images, diagrams, code examples, and more. Lessons are designed to be bite-sized and incremental, encouraging mastery of concepts before moving on to the next lesson.
To confirm student mastery, the platform supports interactive coding exercises complete with individualized feedback and a preview of their work.
Woz U Online is a hybrid learning model that provides the flexibility of asynchronous learning with the structure and support of an immersive classroom experience. Although students can access lessons and support anytime, however, they are able to attend live lectures and 1-on-1 mentoring.
● Live-streamed interactive workshops taught by experienced instructors
● Recorded and available on-demand 24/7
● Flexible scheduling
● Regularly scheduled progress reviews
● Individualized attention and instruction
● Interactive screen sharing and video conferencing
The Woz U mobile app is designed to encourage users to discover their hidden talents while promoting inclusion and diversity in tech. After a brief adaptive assessment, the app matches users with a career track tailored to their skills and demand in their location. This requires no prior experience and assesses the user on a variety of categories such as:
● Deductive Reasoning
● Basic computer knowledge
Most importantly, the development of these skills doesn’t stop with Woz U. It actually begins as early as Kindergarten and continues throughout a user’s career through the use of other offerings in our “K-to-Career” pipeline. After Woz U, a user may enter the Woz Workspace and begin to search for a job that aligns with their passions and their skill set.
Fulfilling the grand vision of an EdTech innovator like Steve Wozniak has been no small feat, to say the least. We’re extremely proud of our team and the incredible accomplishments we’ve made in less than two short years as an organization. During that time, we’ve worked diligently to create a curriculum that’s relevant and cutting edge, while also making it fun and interactive for students. And, we’ve made sure to use the available technology of our era to teach the next generation of students more effectively. After all, how could we teach the latest technology if we didn’t use it ourselves? We believe this philosophy—and the guiding light of a tech legend like Steve Wozniak—make Woz U a true trailblazer and disruptor in EdTech.
To learn more about how Woz U is “reprogramming” tech education and changing lives along the way, follow us on social media and stay tuned to our official blog.