Philipp Schmidt

Philipp Schmidt headshot

Philipp Schmidt is co-founder of Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) – the grassroots community for social learning online, and based at the MIT Media Lab where he works with Joi Ito and Mitch Resnick to make the web a platform for learning. He is an open education activist, innovator, and entrepreneur. Philipp co-authored the Cape Town Open Education Declaration, served as a founding board member for the OpenCourseWare Consortium and has been awarded Shuttleworth and Ashoka fellowships.

Blogs (4)

From Courses to Communities

Monday, October 13, 2014

teachers posing in pyramid form in classroom smiling I remember vividly when I received my first account on a UNIX computer that was connected to the Internet. In the early 90s, the Internet in Germany was still in its infancy and only academic institutions and large corporations had reliable access. As a student at the time, I was mostly interested in making films, and I didn’t even own a computer, but things took a different turn. A small black terminal window with some white text and a blinking cursor became my window to a whole new world. A world where people communicated in IRC

Connecting Adult Learners

Thursday, June 19, 2014

group of adults gathering breakout session at DML A lot of the work we have been doing as part of the connected learning community has focused on children and young people. We design digital tools that create new ways for young people to learn. We create environments in which learning starts with a young person’s interest. And, we are starting to re-design the academic system so that “non-traditional” learning can find the recognition it deserves. There are many good reasons why we have focused on young people. It’s easier to make a difference to someone’s life if they are just starting out, if they

The Great Peer Learning Pyramid Scheme

Monday, March 10, 2014

2 students working on tablet and computer designing project together I often get asked questions like these: Does peer learning really work? Don’t we need experts to learn from? Can the (proverbially) blind really lead the blind? Those are good questions and I will get back to them in a second. Then, there is another question about peer learning that doesn’t get asked very much, which I would like to talk about in this post: Could peer learning be the (only) answer to scale meaningful learning and education for a growing global population? Let’s briefly talk about the first set of questions. Peer learning works because


Friday, August 16, 2013

webpage screenshot of ungangout videos chat conversations Computers and the Internet are really good at copying information and sending it to lots of people at low cost. That’s why many of the recent innovations in online learning focus on packaging knowledge in the form of short video lectures, and sharing them online. Khan Academy and the recent spate of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are successful examples. They take the traditional model of instruction (sage on the stage) and scale it to vast audiences. But there is another approach to learning, that turns around the top-down model of instruction, and places the learner