CNBC25: Rebels, Icons and Leaders

Technology spurs innovation in education: Expert

Coursera attracts 10 million students
Coursera attracts 10 million students

Big changes are coming to education as advanced technologies offer both increased access and improved efficiencies for students, an entrepreneur told CNBC on Thursday.

Daphne Koller
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"I think we're at the cusp of a transformation. Technology has finally got to the point where it can actually make a meaningful impact on both access and educational outcomes," Daphne Koller, co-founder of Coursera, an online educational platform that partners with traditional brick-and-mortar universities that range from Stanford University to Ohio State University, said on "Squawk Alley."

"We're starting to see [these changes] happening to a certain extent in K-12, to a certain extent in higher ed," she said. "But I think even more so among the traditional nonconsumers of education."

Educating those who have never received a secondary education is perhaps the biggest opportunity going forward, Koller said. Many people are looking to learn about a new topic or develop another skill set, especially in the "developing world," she said.

Koller ranks among the CNBC NEXT List—which follows the CNBC First 25 and includes just some of the entrepreneurs, financiers, inventors and executives who are working on innovative solutions to global challenges. Already many have sparked transformative changes in their respective industries and disciplines. (Read about our criteria here.)

Read MoreStudy this to make the CNBC NEXT list