Tuesday, March 19, 2013


EDUCATION So in the modern technological age, why is education still stuck in the old, expensive models? Why do we transport students, not lectures via internet? Why do we have students live on a campus at a high cost, both to the environment and the students’ families. Why can’t we let them tele-commute? Why do we pay professors to set up their offices on a campus, teach a class or two and write their books or perform research. With the access to the internet, professors could compete to prepare the best courses, the best lectures, the best teaching models and sell them to users at any university. The cost of paying lecturers and professors would be transferred from universities to consumers, the students. Competition on the internet for the best education will reward the best educators. Period. No more lecture halls, - remodel these into study cells with computerized scheduling for any group to form or meet regularly or ad hoc to study together, to download lectures and share expenses, to tutor each other or hire tutors (graduate students then can be self supporting if they really know their stuff), to practice Socratic dialogue, to mentor, to study, to learn. Dorms can be re-imagined as studios, as housing for the elderly, for the poor! (Not just poor students). We can finally separate sports from education and let the campuses rent out all athletic facilities to leagues or individuals. Athletes will have to pay the universities, not the other way around. All those wonderful quads can be made into gardens and feed the area residents who have been feeding students. Students can achieve credits in a variety of traditional and non-traditional ways; passing competency achievement tests in knowledge areas (standardized such that excellence receives higher scores than mediocrity) portfolios peer review projects products And all the research professors did on campuses at the expense of universities, families and students? Who will pay for that? - the ones that currently pay for it - large pharmaceuticals, big corporations, federal government. And they can rent the labs and facilities from the universities. What will be left to the universities - computerized management of schedules, fees for lectures, fees for credits, matching students to tutors, maintaining records, renting facilities..... and all this can be out-sourced to the Bahamas. Mary Brenner

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