Terminal Anachronism #5
The Terminal Anachronism series focuses on devices, institutions, and various artifacts of society that still exist but are very much on a kind of technological death row.
(see also: publishing, VHS, textbooks, etc.).
TODAY’S CANDIDATE: The University System
VERDICT: Endangered Now; Relevance Rapidly Decreasing
Just. Can’t. Decide.
I should add to my title “and My Motivation to go to Grad School.”
I have a really big problem. After what amounts to years of searching, here in Japan I’ve finally found an appropriate graduate program in the social sciences. It’s a challenging two-year master’s program administered by a group of ferociously bright and dedicated Western scholars (it matters).
The program isn’t perfect, but as close as I’m likely to get here in Japan – and Japan is where some really super interesting technological things are going to happen first. Japan also, you know, has its moments. Lastly, I’ve always liked the idea of going back to school. Spend a decade or so living life, and then back to the books, so to speak.
EDUCATION IS CHANGING, SON!
(list of resources after the jump)
Working on a traditional grad school application makes me feel like such a hypocrite. How can the technology dork inside me live with the idea of heading back to a “campus” when almost daily there’s some revolutionary upheaval in the delivery of higher education?
For like, ever, humanity lacked to the technology to instantly transfer information and share wisdom across vast distances, and as such, Universities were needed to:
1. Localize the Social/Cultural Conduits (teachers)
2. Localize Information (libraries)
The University is Dead – Welcome to the New Education Movement
Universities are based on a model thousands of years old, ridiculously expensive (WHY?), inefficiently time consuming, and generalized top-down for the average student of subject A, B, or C, i.e., here’s what we got, aim it at the students and you’ll hit a good lot of them with a shotgun blast of education! Granted medicine, welding, and other hands-on practices for now remain tied to this model, but for the rest of us, the market is shifting in a big way.
The New Education Movement.
Pay next to nothing, learn efficiently at your own pace, focus on what you want/need and enrich with electives of your choosing. Of course there have been plenty of online degree-granting programs out there for a while, but they haven’t been taken all that seriously, and those of us with a traditional four-year (or more) university-based degree have kinda scoffed at them from our ivory tower of, well, let’s see… debt and unemployment?
Now the degree game is changing too, and programs like Udacity and MITx are getting into the certificate-granting side of things. Ahhh, diplomas. How quaint.
Here are more than a few more points to consider:
Can a Free Online Education Land You a Job?
Coverage of MITx going live.
[SINGULARITY HUB ARTICLE]
MIT Announces MITx Education Initiative
This AND of course the OpenCourseWare program. Free MIT syllabi – that’s right.
[MITx – MIT OCW]
The Khan Academy
Sal Khan’s rapidly growing YouTube education revolution. Because data.
[KHAN ACADEMY – WIRED ARTICLE ON KHAN ACADEMY]
Apple’s iPad Aims to Revolutionize Education
Article from CIO
Sebastian Thrun, tenured Stanford CS professor, quits to start online education company.
[UDACITY – ZDNET ON UDACITY]
Why You Should Root for College to Go Online
Atlantic article on that.
Think the academic journal cartels are an outmoded impediment to getting research out in the world and accelerating scientific development? Yes. How about 1 million-plus researchers publishing their work openly online?
Anya Kamenetz’s online presence – promotes ideas from her book “DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education.”
[DIY U BLOG – DIY U AT AMAZON]
A resource much more serious that its name sounds when you say it out loud. To quote: “Learn Anything With Your Peers. It’s Online and Totally Free.”
I look at all this, slide my screen over, and I look at my grad school application.
Does. Not. Compute.
I’m anthrobotic.com (means nothing to anyone but me – I know), l’m all kinds of in love with technology, and here I sit filling out a paper application to an archaic and probably dying higher education system. I think I need to be slapped.
All Terminal Anachronism posts can be found here.