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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)



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


Simon Perkins

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