NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--This week, for the first time in more than three centuries, Harvard and Yale will concurrently offer the same course — and its primary "text" won't be a book, but rather a video lecture series comprising the world's greatest thinkers and leading scholars.
Philanthropist and investor Adam Glick and the global knowledge forum Big Think are proud to announce the launch of The Floating University (www.floatinguniversity.com), a new educational media venture which presents an entirely new model for Higher Education. The company’s first multimedia lecture series, Great Big Ideas: An Entire Undergraduate Education While Standing on One Foot! debuts at Harvard, Yale and Bard this week as full-credit courses during the Fall 2011 semester.
And, students are responding. At Yale, 145 students have already registered for Great Big Ideas, for a class limited in size to 18 – making it the third most popular course on campus even before its first day of class. (Economics and Psychology are #1 and #2).
Floating University courses are also offered in individual subscriptions online at www.floatinguniversity.com, with full access to all the course videos, readings and online discussions.
“Education has changed very little in the last 300 years, while we’ve seen complete transformations in how we access information, digest news, read books, make movies, and especially how we get the music we love. We no longer buy expensive albums, but rather select and pay for the tracks individually on iTunes and other online services – lowering the cost and increasing the value,” said Co-Founder Adam Glick, President of The Jack Parker Company. “Floating University will be a major catalyst in changing the business and economic model of education by unbundling the traditional silos which house university curriculum, and providing access to leading scholars and the best minds in their field for a fraction of the cost – to anyone, anywhere.“
Great Big Ideas delivers key takeaways of an entire undergraduate education in 12 weeks. It's a survey of twelve major fields delivered by their most important thinkers and practitioners. Each lecture explores the key questions in the field, lays out the methods for answering those inquiries and explains why the field matters. It is an effective introduction to thinking differently, and a primer in the diverse modes of problem solving essential for success in the 21st century. And, while the company is partnering with major universities, they are also challenging the very basis of their traditional models of education.
Within the Great Big Ideas course, lecturers include: Jeffrey Brenzel, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Yale; Leon Botstein, President, Bard; Doug Melton, Harvard and Co-Director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute; Michio Kaku, City University of New York (CUNY), and co-founder of the “string-field theory” of physics; Paul Bloom, Yale; William Ackman, Founder and CEO, Pershing Square Capital; Saul Levmore, University of Chicago Law School; Joel Cohen, Rockefeller and Columbia; Tamar Gendler, Yale; Nicholas Christakis, Harvard; Steven Pinker, Harvard; and Larry Summers, Professor and former President of Harvard University. On campus instruction will be led by President Botstein at Bard; Professors Melton and Christakis at Harvard, and University Provost Peter Salovey at Yale.
“We presented each lecturer with a challenge,” said Peter Hopkins, Co-Founder of The Floating University and President of Big Think. ”’Tell us everything a non-professional needs to know about your subject in less than 60 minutes.’ As a result, our video lectures are highly focused, and rich in content, animation and graphics that make knowledge come alive. It is like reading a 600-page book in one hour.”
“There are plenty of online courses available, but you would have to take one in each of the 12 fields Great Big Ideas introduces,” continued Glick. “And if you did, you would have spent ten times the time and money, and worked twice as hard deciding for yourself what was worth focusing on.”
The Floating University is a joint venture between The Jack Parker Corporation and Big Think (www.bigthink.com), a knowledge forum where the world's leading experts explore the big ideas and core skills defining the 21st century. Principals of The Floating University are Founder Adam Glick, President, The Jack Parker Corporation; Peter Hopkins, President and Co-Founder, Big Think; and Victoria Brown, CEO and Co-Founder, Big Think.
To learn more about The Floating University, review the Great Big Ideas syllabus, and access selected videos from the lecture series, visit: www.floatinguniversity.com. Universities and other institutions interested in licensing The Floating University courses should contact Victoria Brown at email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.