How Udacity’s Greatest Effect will be in the Developing World

Nicolas Pottier:

This brings us to Udacity, which takes all the best parts of the above approaches and marries them into an incredible teaching tool.  Audacity combines the personal, approachable first person teaching style of Kahn Academy, but then backs it up with interactive programming in Python, all right in the browser.  
The teachers are ex-Stanford professors, so they have decades of experience teaching this material, which really shows in how they present it. So far in the first week of class, they have done a great job of covering fundamentals without getting bogged down in details, getting students to start learning intuitively, by doing, while still giving them the founding blocks to know why things work the way they do.
Perhaps most importantly, Udacity has structured their CS101 course around a brilliant concept, building a search engine in eight weeks. That single act makes the course not about learning, but about doing. The class never has to answer the question ‘why are we doing this?’, because each topic is directly tied to the overall goal of building your own little Google, every piece is practical.