The Edtech Podcast: with Olivier Crouzet of Ecole 42

#90: on peer-to-peer learning with the Director of Pedagogy for Ecole 42, Olivier Crouzet

This week, we throwback to June in the UK speaking to Olivier Crouzet, the Director of Pedagogy at Ecole 42. For anyone who doesn’t know Ecole 42, it is a private, nonprofit and tuition-free computer programming school created and funded by French billionaire Xavier Niel (Founder of the telecommunication company Illiad) and other partners. The school was first opened in Paris in 2013. Riffing directly from Wikipedia,

“The school does not have any professors, does not issue any diploma or degree, and is open 24/7. The training is inspired by new modern ways to teach which include peer-to-peer pedagogy and project-based learning. The School has been endorsed by many high-profile people in Silicon Valley including Evan Spiegel the co-founder and CEO of Snapchat, Keyvon Beykpour the co-founder and CEO of Periscope, Stewart Butterfield the co-founder and CEO of Slack, Brian Chesky the co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, Tony Fadell the founder and CEO of Nest Labs, and Jack Dorsey the co-Founder and CEO of Twitter”.

The school divides opinion with some thinking the self-service and free-to-access model is positive and revolutionary, and others thinking 3000 students alone in a room starting at screens is the stuff of nightmares. But 42 isn’t limited to Paris. In the summer of 2016, 42 Silicon Valley opened. 

42’s name is a reference to the science fiction book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy written by British author Douglas Adams: in the book 42 is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. In this episode, I speak to 42’s Head of Pedagogy about the theory behind peer to peer, France’s new politics and what it means for education, and how free pans out in teaching and learning. This session was recorded at Future Edtech.   

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