By . For a minute there in 2012 it seemed like the whole world might learn to code online, for free. It's easy (or so we were told): Just use one of the zillion new learn-to-code services that had cropped up, seemingly overnight. They varied in quality, cost, and coverage, but one making a lot of noise was Codecademy. The New York startup raised $12.5 million in venture funding and boasted high profile partnerships with colleges such as NYU, government groups such as the White House, and tech companies such as Twitter. Even Mayor Bloomberg signed up for lessons.
And then the MOOC backlash happened. MOOCs, or massive open online learning courses, like those offered by Coursera and the Khan Academy, were quickly labeled condescendingly as "Internet college" and dismissed for their insanely low completion rates. (Less than 13% of people actually complete online courses.) Turned out disrupting Big Education wouldn't be as easy as throwing up a website and some video lectures. More...