As a private tutor, I am inevitably curious about the future of education. Many people have voiced opinions on this topic. The quality of discourse varies because some of the participants bring a lot of self-serving idealogical baggage to the discussion. I do my best to ignore them but when I find something informative I like to share it.
Some of my past blog posts have have mentioned online education and MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses). Their obvious growth in popularity indicates that, for many people, their benefits outweigh their disadvantages. My modest coverage of these delivery methods has focused on the student perspective but some people have been paying attention to their effect on traditional educational institutions. This Wired Campus article from earlier this year stands out because of the parallels it draws between the future of universities and the fate of the Borders Bookstores chain. The article is in an interview format. The last two questions have the most interesting answers and many of the comments offer valuable observations and analysis.
The best part of the story is where the interviewee, Richard A DeMillo of Georgia Tech, tells an inspiring story about a discussion that took place on the Godel’s Lost Letter blog. As online higher education matures I expect to see more stories like this.