Eton College, the British school with a total of nineteen British prime ministers counted among its alumni, is launching EtonX, an online Modern Leadership course for learners in China. Through its company Eton College Ventures and ed-tech provider Eighteen70, Eton is launching the blended online learning course this fall.
The EtonX e-learning course will combine up to fifteen hours of one-to-one e-learning delivered by UK-based tutors and 12 to 15 hours of classroom-based teaching in China per academic term. The learning platform and the multimedia content will be developed and distributed by Eton College.
For EtonX CEO Simon Walsh, this venture is humanizing online education with its learning model. According to TechCrunch, the China-based instruction will be delivered by each school's respective teachers. Eton College instructors will travel to China to train and collaborate with local teachers.
"The core thing about this product is it is a genuine homegrown Eton product. The editorial control sits with Eton, the content is designed by teachers in Eton. And if we are working with teachers on the ground to help deliver this course Eton teachers go out to China and train the delivery partners face to face, as well as maintaining an online training system with them," Simon Walsh says.
Tuition for EtonX e-learning course is £700 (about $1100 USD) per semester, and the hope is that the EtonX course finds its way into Chinese education as an "after school option that parents can pay for".
For Percy Harrison, Eton College Director of Information Technology, the newly founded EtonX company will help the college reach more students without having to establish an overseas campus. As he emphasized, setting up an online e-learning venture for the Chinese market gives Eton College the control it wants over the end-result quality, the BBC reports.
During launch, the EtonX program will be available in approximately 10 Chinese schools in which parents will be able to pay for this optional class as they would for other extracurricular classes. EtonX aims to serve aspirational middle-class families that want their children equipped with leadership skills, Sean Coughlan of the BBC explains.
The Modern Leadership course will teach essential skills in communication and collaboration and prepare the students for higher education and the modern workplace. Eton College says the Modern Leadership course will be imbued with Eton's DNA with regard to its emphasis on leadership education.
Outgoing Eton College Head Master Tony Little commented on the new direction education is heading in:
"Teachers will be much less didactic than they used to be a generation ago and much more helpers – people who actually encourage and enable young people to sort the wheat from the chaff, to be able to identify what really matters in the information that they are dealing with."
Eton College will invest profits derived from this joint venture into its scholarships program.