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Shimon Schocken, a Computer Science professor at Efi Arazi School of Computer Science in Israel shares in his self study keynote about how the course he and fellow colleague Noam Nisan created exploded on the Internet.
Surrounded by family members who were “tenacious self learners,” Schocken grew up with the notion that educators didn’t necessarily have to teach to be effective. Rather, an important role and task the educators must uphold is to provide an environment along with resources that draws out and nurtures the students’ natural ability to learn on their own. Self study, self exploration and self empowerment, the professor says, are the virtues of great education.
In a program that took two people five years to build took exponentially less time for the ingenious course to explode online. Schocken created one of the most ideal learning environment for his students, encouraging them to start from scratch and gradually, within the semester, build step-by-step their own computers, platforms and eventually, games like Pong and Tetris. The sense of accomplishment could not be greater for these students who literally achieved the tremendously difficult feat from nothing. The course, which is now called Nand2Tetris, was one of the first successful open online courses.