Sunday, December 23, 2012

Moocing into the future

There has been a lot of comment about MOOC providers such as Udacity or Coursera being a disruptive technology in the filed of higher ed, and this is hard to argue with, although the process is likely to be more protracted than many commentators think.  However just because change is taking place, it doesn't mean that we have to be antediluvian about it.
I know this is a weak analogy, but I'm sure that when the motor car came out there were some people complaining about the effect the innovation was going to have on the lives of ostlers, grooms and dung collectors.
We don't know where new online and automated forms of education will take us.  What we do know, is that they have the potential to take us someplace very far from the current state of affairs.  This potential may involve some creative destruction, and toppling of sacred cows, but it is up to us to steer it towards the creative the innovative and the good, and away from the banal and the mass market.