WHO IS NICK MARTIN?
Nick Martin is the founder and CEO of TechChange, a Washington DC-based social enterprise that provides tech training for social change. The TechChange training model has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Economist, Fast Company and elsewhere.
Nick is a PopTech Social Innovation Fellow, an Ariane de Rothschild Fellow, and an International Youth Foundation Global Fellow. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown and George Washington Universities where he teaches graduate courses on Technology for Social Change, Technology for International Crisis Response, and Mobile Phones for International Development.
You can connect with Nick here:
IN TOR 069 YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT:
- TechChange, its origins, its road to becoming a key player in the development of online education.
- Nick’s international relations, especially with Costa Rica.
- Nick’s view of the future of inclusive, valuable online education.
OUR CONVERSATION INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
- University for Peace, Costa Rica
- United Nations Foundation
- Online education
- Computer science
- Mobile penetration
- Washington, DC
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
EPISODE CRIB NOTES
Courses for development professionals.
Online and in person course catalog.
Becoming Nick Martin
Interested in computer early on. Lots of trips to Costa Rica. Majored in poetry. Then an Education for Human Rights degree in Costa Rica’s University for Peace. Resumes computer skills.
Nick has been in the field: China, Ethiopia, Czech Republic. Education, all levels.
In Costa Rica his focus is international education. Technology will be the cornerstone. Mobile penetration in developing world, social media and grassroots activism.
Online learning is the key to teaching skills for those who need it the most.
Beyond what’s already out there in online education
The concept has always been interesting, but hard to take off the ground.
Costa Rica experiences and U of Peace bring a lot of ideas.
With early partners, volunteering launched a course list, lots of interested paying subscribers.
Today, 5,000 subscribers from around the world. Partners have launched courses through TechChange, including USAID, WorldBank, United Nations Foundation, Oxfam, UNICEF.
Lots of testimony of success on blogs. People have obtained jobs.
The platform focuses on community building, tries to avoid unidirectionality common in offers such as MOOCs. Ongoing development.
On content and other strategies
Multidisciplinary teams, all in the same DC room.
Every course involves 8-10 people, lots of invited experts.
Lots of business development, still some teaching.
15% of the business is from open courses.
Lots of connections have been made, people create their own curriculae.
Facilitation rather than broadcast.
TechChange’s song of things that went wrong.
Course in Pakistan for Muslim people, using Ustream. Did not realize they run ads on gambling and alcohol.
Rebuilding the site, platform, offerings.
Monitoring and evaluation technologies.
Diplomas, tracks of courses. Accreditation is something left to discuss.
Nick is happy with his balance, misses teaching more, but is excited for the upcoming challenges.
Avoid starting up solo. Be with people who are not afraid to challenge you.
People don’t realize the extent of their skills and opportunities.
People should seriously ask about graduate education in terms of value and experience.
Please share, participate and leave feedback below!
If you have any feedback you’d like to share for me or Nick, please leave your thoughts in the comment section below! I read all of them and will definitely take part in the conversation.
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