Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Virtual Revolution Is Brewing for Colleges -

Link above to an article about how the education system may change due to increase in online format. The author suggests that with the move to online learning that the quality of education will falter. He also suggests that newspapers have learned by shock that they can be replaced. He doesn’t say this directly but the implication is clear. I personally don’t think that this is a foregone conclusion. I think that by anticipating what might happen, the education system can create a participatory, innovative and new system structure for the next generation.

He compares the impact of the (social) net(work) has had on newspapers to the possible impact on universities and colleges. He says “… we will see a structural disintegration in the academy akin to that in newspapers now. The typical 2030 faculty will likely be a collection of adjuncts alone in their apartments, using recycled syllabuses and administering multiple-choice tests from afar.”
I think the opposite is also possible.

I foresee a time when learners will be able to take courses from the best of the best and that collaborative learning will replace, to a large extent, individual-centered learning tasks. In some ways this is business as usual for institutions.

The goal of formal public education is to create a workforce. The workforce required over the next generations is one that is networked, can collaborate and, is less ego-centric. The cost of that, if not managed well is that the cream will have a harder time rising to the top. The benefit however could be a world that learns through innovation, anticipation and participation rather than shock.

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