Rember when MOOCs were going to replace all of higher education?

Only 3 years ago the entrepreneurs peddling Massive Online Open Courses like Coursera were predicting the collapse by 2022 of 99% of all colleges and universities, to be replaced by those corporations, particularly among non-traditional learners.
No surprise: It isn’t happening. Completion rates are around 15% and those few who do succeed mostly seem to be those who already have college degrees.
But Thrun and other MOOC founders seem less than concerned about living up to their earlier, lofty rhetoric or continuing that tradition of bringing education to an underserved population. True, they haven’t entirely abandoned their rhetoric about equal access to educational opportunities. But they’ve shifted to what’s becoming a more familiar Silicon Valley narrative about the future of employability: a cheap and precarious labor force. That’s the unfortunate reality of “Uber for Education.”
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Published in: on August 24, 2015 at 9:52 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. The MOOC crowd has such a cynical and limited idea of education-that it is simply job training. Yes, people need to prepare for jobs, but genuine education is so much more than that. When I attended college in the late 60’s I took courses in geology and English literature that gave me the opportunity to learn from fine professors who loved their field,and were incredibly enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge with their students. Those subjects had nothing whatsoever to do with my eventual career, but I am so glad that I took them, and remember those classes and professors with great fondness and respect. They enriched my life, and isn’t that what education ought to do?


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