Monday, April 16, 2012

Do On-Line Student Sections Still Use Face Paint?

While you are worrying about how you are going to pay for that new football center or maintain your payrolls, take a little shuddering thought walk down an American academic future in which The Long Tail catches up with education. Two recent essays on a dystopian future.

First is Heather MacDonald looking at the Great Courses model of delivering courses on-line.

The next is from Wired magazine about The Stanford Experiment, and the immediate reality of free learning and classes of 100,000 students.

It begs the question - what happens to all the American local culture roles of the U.S. university when things go on-line. While the obvious is the athletic department disappears into best case scenario minor league or semi-pro sports based around the local community, the impacts are much broader. Who will provide the arts and entertainment? Who stocks the library and intellectual resources?

Most of all, what becomes of "college towns" when the local plant - the university with its hundreds or thousands of white collar high salary jobs - closes?

Happy Tax Day.

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