This week the NYTimes posted an article about the impending demise of the traditional university. According to columnist Thomas L. Friedman, “massive open online courses” (MOOC) are the future,. The article cites how millions of students are now taking coursework once reserved for a handful of privileged elites. Students stifled by autism, remote locations, lack of funds, social awkwardness, or snob-deficit can now jump on the college degree train. The brick-and-mortar campus, speculates Friedman, should be already preparing its fossil record in advance of its extinction.
The now-legendary Kahn Academy looks downright rustic compared to the MOOC movement. Advocates say that the skeptics will eventually join the ranks of past naysayers who were also suspicious of the printing press, commercial flight, or the Roomba. All people deserve an education, one that can lift them from poverty and bring them into the modern world, say all the innovators, so step aside and let the revolutionaries do their magic.