Google’s Big Move to Disrupt and Upend Higher Education

Bob Dylan sang, “For the times they are a-changin’” That’s what I thought of when I read that Google announced they were going to start offering six-months courses to give people the skills needed to acquire jobs that are in-demand. The cost? An astonishing $300. All I can say is “About time.”

Like the CEO of Alibaba, Jack Ma, I started out my career as an English teacher. In 2008, I saw the writing on the wall with the shift in the market and reinvented myself. I read, listened to, watched, attended, and absorbed every book, CD and seminar I could get my hands on to prepare for the second half of my career.

What frustrated me about the educational process was how slow it was to adapt to our fast-changing world. Outside the school walls, the Internet, smartphone and social media have reshaped every aspect of our society. However,

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Learning pods are here to stay and could disrupt American education

That is what Kendra Newton is doing: The 24-year-old first-grade teacher resigned from her job with Orange County Public Schools in Florida after learning she would have to teach in-person this fall. She is moving across the country to Oregon, where she will lead a pod of eight students — for a higher salary than she earned in Florida.

“It gave me a way to feel safe working,” Newton said. “I will have guaranteed money coming in, and a stable idea of what my life will be like, because there won’t be a school district changing its mind every two seconds. For my mental health, it’s just a better option.”

No reliable data exists on how many teachers have left, or are considering leaving, their jobs to teach pods. But worried school officials are sending emails claiming that pods pose just as much of a health risk as returning to

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