Playing the Indian Card

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Coming: Cheap College Online

Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, believes college, now almost prohibitively expensive, will soon be free online.

I do not think he is entirely right. His vision calls, for example, for a suspension of all copyright for online education materials. This is a non-starter. It expects everyone to work for free. Not right, and not going to happen. Some may choose, as they can now, to offer their work for free under Creative Commons License.

He also writes “you need some form of accreditation.” I think he overlooks the obvious path. In the future, I suspect, name institutions like Harvard will be limited to creating evaluation procedures. Where you acquire the knowledge is wide open. The university simply certifies that you have it.

But his basic point is correct. It is true right now, at this moment, that online teaching platforms are more flexible, allow better experiences, than classrooms do. At a small fraction of the cost, when you calculate in the need for students to move and cover living expenses.

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