Earlier this week we told you about Google's new Course Builder open source software designed to help independent educators create their own online curriculum. Now Google is taking its commitment to online education a bit further by teaming up with Khan Academy to launch Next EDU Gurus, an X-Factor-style search for emerging online education superstars.
What makes the Next EDU Guru programme unique is that it focuses on an educator's ability to leverage video to deliver their messages to students. Over the course of the next two weeks, a panel consisting of education and video experts from Google and Khan Academy will review entrants who apply to the programme. Ten winners will be flown to San Francisco to receive further training and support from YouTube and Khan Academy staff, as well as a $1,000 (£615) B&H gift card to be used for video production equipment.
A look at the programme's video message offers a clear signal to would-be entrants that Next EDU Guru is looking for individuals who know how to creatively educate through entertainment and story telling rather than simply posting dry instructional videos online.
In a post announcing the programme YouTube Education team member Angela Lin reinforced this focus on creativity.
"Do you set historical events to music? Doodle your geometry? Sing your Shakespeare? We're looking for content creators who create all kinds of curriculum-related videos, from grammar to geography, history to histograms. You can submit any style of video as long as it's educational and family-friendly—just bear in mind that we're looking for content creators who can take people on a journey through a topic," she wrote.
The only apparent down side of the programme is that it is currently limited to residents of English-speaking countries including the UK, US, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and Canada (excluding residents of French-speaking Quebec). Winners flown out to the three-day workshop, scheduled for 17-19 October, will receive a daily spending allowance, meals, and the possibility of being granted a Khan Academy fellowship.
Although the programme will certainly give the online education movement a boost, it's also a way for Google to bolster its video advertising initiatives — YouTube will only consider entrants who already have monetisation enabled for at least half of all videos in their channel archive on YouTube. Those interested in trying their hand at becoming a part of online education history don't have long to prepare - the deadline for applications is 1 October.
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