But the sun never rose on television as an educational “delivery system.”
A friend of mine from Upstate New York who attended a high school there in the early nineties described to me how he was able to take courses that weren't available at his own school via a teleconferencing session.
In my observation, the College Experience(TM) is a leisure based thing available only to some people.
[Interviewer]: In your teaching career, what did you like most, teaching students or doing research?
[Postroad] ... I loved teaching. I haven't taught now for, what, ten years? I love teaching. You know why? Because I found out that young [college] kids have easy access to drugs. [Laughter]
So, in stead of bigger classes with little interaction in which few students have actually done the work, with me yammering on ad nauseam about stuff that they really need to do rather than hear about, we can have a system that can guarantee that they have done the work they need to do (else they can't dome to class), then I can interact with them in smaller groups and do the stuff that can't be done online.
The real problem with online education is that it has the potential to let EVERYBODY learn. Traditional higher education can't tolerate that -- their whole business model is based on exclusivity and filtering people out of the learning flow. Well fuck those people, everybody should have the opportunity to learn as much as they can at whatever pace their situation and ability allows.
The number of online educational offerings has exploded in recent years, but their rapid rise has spawned a critical question: Can such “virtual” classes cut through the maze of distractions — such as email, the Internet, and television — that face students sitting at their computers?
The solution, Harvard researchers say, is to test students early and often.
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