Toilets weren't the only thing on Bill Gates's mind at yesterday's Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe - the former Microsoft CEO also offered his vision of the future of education. The next great educational institution, he thinks, is the internet.
Of course, the internet already has a wealth of information for self-starters. But as universities continue to post their materials online, Gates says the web will come to offer educational possibilities unrivalled by any one university:
Five years from now on the web for free you'll be able to find the best lectures in the world...It will be better than any single university.
Universities need to be less "place-based", he explains, though physical schools are still important for K-12 education. The internet will undoubtedly play an increasingly important role in education in coming years, but until you can play Beer Pong on your laptop, I think dorms will continue to be filled. [TechCrunch]