Recently I read an article on Seth Godin’s blog, ‘Education at the crossroads‘, which discusses the rapid changes underway in education at the collegiate level. He offer examples where MBA’s are being offered to students free-of-charge and how the cost to do so is close to nil for these schools. The question he raises is should college education be free or close to free? Is education about the schools or learning? A good article.
This morning in the Washington Post there is an article, ‘Getting it Right: Is Online Learning REALLY Better?‘, in which Valerie Strauss deciphers a new Education Department study for us. Although the report indicates there may very well be benefits to online learning over face-to-face, the study wasn’t conclusive and shouldn’t lead one to draw any significant conclusions.
What is apparent to me is that technology is rapidly improving the ability to educate remotely reducing the “need” for face-to-face interaction. Live video streaming, real time video chat, “tools” like Second Life, make the prospect of virtual classrooms a reality today, not years from now.
What this is going to mean for education at every level is hard to wrap one’s mind around, but I agree with Seth that education is going to become very inexpensive changing the face of private schools and higher learning. The possibilities are exciting and parents should embrace and even drive these changes as our current education system is in dire need of change.