Category Archives: Rants

How California’s Online Education Pilot Will End College As We Know It | TechCrunch

Here are the highlights of this disturbing article:

How California’s Online Education Pilot Will End College As We Know It | TechCrunch

Gov. Jerry Brown has given his blessing to popular online course platform, Udacity, to partner with San Jose State University for the ultra-low cost online lower-division and remedial classes

In other words, computers can–and have–successfully replaced teachers.

If I had to predict how the fallout of this pilot will go, here’s my timeline:

Pilot succeeds, expands to more universities and classes

Part-time faculty get laid off, more community colleges are shuttered, extracurricular college services are closed, and humanities and arts departments are dissolved for lack of enrollment (science enrollment increases–yay!?)

Graduate programs dry up, once master’s and PhD students realize there are no teaching jobs. Fewer graduate students means fewer teaching assistants and, therefore, fewer classes

Competency-based measures begin to find the online students perform on par with, if not better than, campus-based students. Major accredited state college systems offer fully online university degrees, then shutter more and more college campuses

A few Ivy League universities begin to control most of the online content, as universities all over the world converge toward the classes that produce the highest success rates

In the near future, learning on a college campus returns to its elite roots, where a much smaller percentage of students are personally mentored by research and expert faculty

Read the whole article.  It isn’t long and is worth the candle.

TerenceOnline An eLearning Resource Center University Online Courses Enhance Universities


Does anyone sense a tipping point? I feel it here as students are beating the doors down to get into online classes. Wait till gas hits $5 a gallon. No, I don’t think we have to wait that long.

if:book: blogging restructures consciousness?

if:book: blogging restructures consciousness?
First off, I’m reminded of something Sebastian Mary was saying last month about moving beyond the idea of “authorship” and the economic and political models that undergird it (the print publishing industry, academia etc.) toward genuinely new forms of writing for the electronic landscape. “My hunch,” she says, “is that things are going two ways: writers as orchestrators of mass creativity, or writers as wielders of a new rhetoric.” Little is understood about what the collapse of today’s publishing systems would actually mean or look like, and even less about the actual experience of the new writing — that is, the new states of mind and modes of vision that are only beginning to be cracked open through the exploration of new forms.

Are we preparing our students for the collapse/transformation of current rhetorical institutions? Perhaps accidentally, but not purposefully. Or… maybe we just get trapped in our various bathyspheres, echo chambers, and catacombs unable to anticipate the changes outside these personal cubbybubbles.

eSchool News online – Villanova heads most-wired college list

eSchool News online – Villanova heads most-wired college list

Villanova University is higher education’s high-tech hotspot, claiming the No. 1 ranking in a new list of “Top 20 Wired Colleges.” The school, in suburban Philadelphia, tops the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Indiana University in the rankings, a joint project of PC Magazine and The Princeton Review, a college advising and test-prep company. …

At Villanova, first-year students are given laptops–and replacements after their sophomore year. Nursing students get personal digital assistants, and engineers get tablet PCs. Over the internet, students can register for classes, download lectures, take exams, and get grades….No. 2 MIT boasts its own operating system and open courseware available via the web to educators and students around the world. On Dec. 13, the school also debuted a new private software system that allows users to locate friends on campus. MIT’s iFIND project turns laptops into something akin to a GPS unit that can spot users down to the room they are sitting in, then allows users to share their location with friends, all without uploading personal information onto a centralized network.

Ok, maybe it might take awhile for Western to break into this vanguard of the technetariat, but why couldn’t we become the most wired department on campus? No reason at all. We talk about engaging our students, let’s engage our faculty first.