Thursday, July 18, 2013

Quotation Of The Day: Technology And Education--Do As I Say, Not As I Do Edition

From this Alan Jacobs post:
But most important, as Newstok points out, the very same technology mavens who insist that excellent education can be provided, via MOOC, to people dispersed all over the world — “The changes ahead will ultimately bring about the most beneficial, most efficient and most equitable access to education that the world has ever seen” — do not themselves act as though physical proximity to smart, gifted, exciting people is a matter of no significance. Rather, they consistently pay premium prices in housing to live in one of the handful of places in the United States — Silicon Valley, Seattle, Brooklyn, Austin, Cambridge — where they can count on a critical mass of like-minded people being present. They clearly believe that not just their personal well-being but also their intellectual sharpness depend on regular face-to-face encounters with others like them. Yet they proclaim that for hoi polloi none of that matters.
If physical presence is as important in education as the technologists’s actions say it is, then perhaps their energies are misapplied. Instead of looking for ways to eliminate or bypass brick-and-mortar schools — and, not incidentally, making a hefty profit for themselves in doing so — maybe they should bend their considerable intellectual powers to the more challenging, less destructive, and far more meaningful challenge of making college education more affordable for everyone who can truly benefit from it.

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