Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

The Educational Revolution

education

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Labrat

Labrat

    Thinking

  • Members
  • 10 posts

Posted 13 May 2014 - 03:11 PM

I've been predicting it for years, and now many others are starting to speak about the new day that is dawning in education.

 

Yes, public schools are still engaging in their eternal struggle to turn out educated graduates, though one can easily argue that was never the goal of mass compulsory schooling from the start. However, many people are starting to see that their education is truly in their own hands. The internet is changing how we view our options.

 

The college inflation bubble will burst, just as the markets crashed and the housing bubble popped. Why should people be saddled with debt for a significant stretch of their working lives for something that is becoming more and more available for minimal costs or for free?


Edited by Labrat, 13 May 2014 - 03:11 PM.


#2 Eclogite

Eclogite

    Creating

  • Moderators
  • 1477 posts

Posted 13 May 2014 - 06:39 PM

If I was cynical I would say "Why pay for a second rate education when you can get a third rate one free on line?"



#3 Labrat

Labrat

    Thinking

  • Members
  • 10 posts

Posted 15 May 2014 - 05:33 PM

You must have a good bit more faith in institutionalized higher education than I have.

 

I am guessing you assume the only alternative to an overpriced education is an online degree. There are so many more paradigms incubating right now. Do you know how many excellent (and extremely pricey) colleges are experimenting, for instance, with offering many of their classes online for free? Stanford and MIT are two in the game. And that is just one example.



#4 Eclogite

Eclogite

    Creating

  • Moderators
  • 1477 posts

Posted 16 May 2014 - 09:43 PM

You must have a good bit more faith in institutionalized higher education than I have.

Well, I don't really deal in faith when it comes to such important matters. Although I have reservations about the possible dilution of degree quality by opening bachelor's qualifications up to such a large percentage of the population, the general standard and consistency of universities within the UK appears to be high. I believe research would tend to confirm this positive view for many countries other than the UK.

 

I am guessing you assume the only alternative to an overpriced education is an online degree. There are so many more paradigms incubating right now. Do you know how many excellent (and extremely pricey) colleges are experimenting, for instance, with offering many of their classes online for free? Stanford and MIT are two in the game. And that is just one example.

I am aware of these developing and expanding programs. However, these appear to lack to important elements of a university education:

1. Guidance as to subjects for study appears to be limited. Perhaps you can correct me on this point.

2. The opportunity to interact with students and faculty is very much reduced.

 

I have no doubt that for some people such an approach will offer, if it does not already, a viable alternative to conventional education. I am not convinced we have established anything like the rigour, or the support systems, or the financial and social model to do so on a large scale effectively.



#5 Buffy

Buffy

    Resident Slayer

  • Administrators
  • 8942 posts

Posted 17 May 2014 - 12:57 PM

My daughter just got finished with freshman year at San Diego State University. She did well and really learned in smaller classes, but the one she had trouble with was a huge lecture class. When I was in school, we always had small group sections with TA's for those big classes so you could actually interact and get your questions answered so you understood them. They've basically eliminated those due to budget cuts, and it sucks for students today.

 

I have actually worked in the on-line learning industry (in software that makes it happen), so I'm something of an expert on it. These systems have become hugely important as an adjunct to live classes--you'll find them everywhere and they are a godsend in terms of easing the distribution of class materials and providing class notes--but they are absolutely not an adequate replacement for class time where you can work with someone who knows what they are talking about.

 

I am too lazy to look it up, but we have lots of data after nearly 20 years of serious and widespread usage of on-line learning (OLL), and the one statistic that still bowls me over is that something like 90% of individuals who start an online course *never complete them*. This is skewed a bit because so many of these courses are individual study at private for-profit schools, but that's actually the crime: there's been this gigantic business built out of taking money from people who want to learn, throwing online courses at them and giving them no motivation to actually take them or get the degree. There are parallels to the exercise/workout club business....

 

Don't get me wrong, I love that we're putting more and more stuff on line, it's just the idea that it's a *replacement* for actual *teaching* that's really totally out of whack. You don't really learn well passively. You need to be challenged and *to* challenge in order for you to actually *get* what you "know."

 

 

An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't, :phones:

Buffy



#6 Labrat

Labrat

    Thinking

  • Members
  • 10 posts

Posted 18 May 2014 - 05:00 PM

Please don't misunderstand. In no way do I believe that the coming changes have already arrived, been perfected. They are in their infancy. It is sort of like looking at Juno in 1997 and predicting that email will never replace snail mail, because it takes people far too long to get their email on dial-up, to look at the current incarnation of on-line learning as it stands now and declare it already tried and discardable.

 

I also don't believe online learning will completely replace in-person learning. But the current higher educational system will have to make changes in the future.

 

Oh, and to speak to one of your points, Eclogite, there is already terrible degree dilution. I can't speak to circumstances in the UK, but here in the US, degree inflation is rampant. So many people have Bachelor's degrees, many jobs are requiring Master's, not because they are truly necessary for each job, but simply to distinguish candidates from one another.

 

We have been sold the idea for several decades now that everyone should go to college. Colleges simply must lower standards if they want to sell that many degrees. Lower standards+wickedly high prices=customer dissatisfaction. When enough customers get fed up with overpaying for underperformance, changes will occur.


Edited by Labrat, 18 May 2014 - 05:02 PM.


#7 RainMan

RainMan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 50 posts

Posted 20 May 2014 - 09:09 AM

Why should people be saddled with debt for a significant stretch of their working lives for something that is becoming more and more available for minimal costs or for free?

 

Because there is a good number of young 20 somethings out there who equate the amount of their debt to success. The more debt they have, the more successful they are because they are so deeply involved in the financial aspect of society.

 

I'm serious, that's how some people think.

 

Online learning will grow more in the years to come and I for one like the idea. 



#8 Eclogite

Eclogite

    Creating

  • Moderators
  • 1477 posts

Posted 21 May 2014 - 06:00 AM

I have actually worked in the on-line learning industry (in software that makes it happen), so I'm something of an expert on it. These systems have become hugely important as an adjunct to live classes--you'll find them everywhere and they are a godsend in terms of easing the distribution of class materials and providing class notes--but they are absolutely not an adequate replacement for class time where you can work with someone who knows what they are talking about.

We are making increasing use of short online training sessions for our employees. These are not replacing instructor led classes, but compliment them. A classroom, in my view, is not a place to learn basic facts. These are best acquired by the individual, in their own time and at their own pace. Online learning is reasonably effective and painless way of doing this. Classrooms provide the opportunity to solidify those facts, place them properly in context, experiment with how they may be used and thus truly understand them.

 

I do not think it impossible to achieve that via a more complex online experience, but we are a great distance away from that at present.



#9 Buffy

Buffy

    Resident Slayer

  • Administrators
  • 8942 posts

Posted 21 May 2014 - 09:48 AM

Yah, I meant completely replace, which you'll see "online universities" trying to push. 

 

I've seen a lot of success in industry dealing with "required training" but it's pretty moronic when you have materials that are supposed to be passable by everyone in the organization:

 

Someone from the IT department calls you and asks for your password. Should you:

A) Give them your password

B ) Give them your password and your bank account number

C) Ignore the call because it was probably a wrong number

D) Hang up and report the incident immediately to the security department

 

 

 

Yah, they really ask questions like that to make sure you sat through the informational slides.

 

 

Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education, :phones:

Buffy



#10 ErlyRisa

ErlyRisa

    Questioning

  • Members
  • 439 posts

Posted 26 May 2014 - 02:34 AM

I have always felt sorry for highschool leavers that have the mentality that the degree is about mulla.

 

...I never wanted the money... wasn't even considering working for ANYONE other than myself : I WANTED the KNOWLEDGE.

 

 

It slowly turns out, it it took me 15 years of being unemployed to realise... the education is not the important part: It's the networking.

 

eg. Arts degree? What is that: Nothing more than getting to know people.