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15 JANUARY 2014

Why online education is mostly a fantasy

"If you listen to the advocates of online learning, MOOCs and Internet–based courses will cure all of our education problems. Just hand out some Android tablets, stream some courses in Python, and sit back and watch as everyone magically becomes a highly productive knowledge worker propelling the United States to new heights of economic prosperity. But this vision of online learning is so ridiculous I'm waiting for Ricardo Montalban to show up in a white suit and welcome these people to Fantasy Island.

The online education utopians ignore the fact that free learning has existed for decades in the form of the public library and despite that availability, every kid within bicycling distance to his local branch didn't turn into a self taught entrepreneur. Suggesting that online courses are the cure–all for our educational needs is like saying all you have to do to teach kids in the ghetto is give away textbooks on the corner."

(Francisco Dao, 25 April 2013, PandoDaily)

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TAGS

2013 • Android tablet • at-risk learner • availabilitybricks and mortar • classroom based students • completion • completion rates • cost effective • course completion • cure all • cure-all • economic prosperity • education problems • educational needs • face-to-face instruction • Fantasy Island (television) • fixed structure • free learning • Hallie Bateman • highly productive • Internet-based courses • knowledge workerMinerva ProjectMOOCsmotivationmotivational needsonline courseonline educationonline learning • online movement • online programme • online students • PandoDaily • physical campuses • public library • real world student interaction • Ricardo Montalban • self-motivated • self-taught • sense of belonging • time flexibility • universityuniversity educationutopian technological prophecy

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
14 NOVEMBER 2010

The library as a people place, providing the tools to support learning and scholarship and the environment for social interaction

"In a sense the [university] library has become the poster child for the impact of IT on higher education. Beyond the use of digital technology for organizing, cataloguing, and distributing library holdings, the increasing availability of digitally–created materials and the massive digitization of existing holdings is driving massive change in the library strategies of universities. Although most universities continue to build libraries, many are no longer planning them as repositories (since books are increasingly placed in off–campus retrievable high–density storage facilities) but rather as a knowledge commons where users access digital knowledge on remote servers. The most common characteristic of these new libraries is a coffee shop. They are being designed as a community center where students come to study and learn together, but where books are largely absent. The library is becoming a people place, providing the tools to support learning and scholarship and the environment for social interaction."

(James J. Duderstadt, Wm. A. Wulf & Robert Zemsky, 2005)

Duderstadt, J. J., W. A. Wulf, et al. (2005). "Envisioning a Transformed University." Issues in Science and Technology (Fall 2005).

Fig.1 Phase II development of the Management and Economics Library at Purdue University

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TAGS

accessavailabilitybookscampus • cataloguing • changecoffee shop • community centre • digital technology • digitally-created materials • digitisationdisruptive technologiesdistribution • environment for social interaction • high-density storage • higher educationholdings • impact of IT on higher education • knowledge commons • learning and scholarship • library • library holdings • organising • people place • repositorysocial interactiontraditiontransformationuniversity

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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