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wonderpup

The Economist On Creative Destruction In Education.

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I do wonder if the Education elite ever really thought through the implications of embracing the idea that they should become businessmen first and educators second.

Well they may be about to find out;

HIGHER education is one of the great successes of the welfare state. What was once the privilege of a few has become a middle-class entitlement, thanks mainly to government support. Some 3.5m Americans and 5m Europeans will graduate this summer. In the emerging world universities are booming: China has added nearly 30m places in 20 years. Yet the business has changed little since Aristotle taught at the Athenian Lyceum: young students still gather at an appointed time and place to listen to the wisdom of scholars.

Now a revolution has begun (see article), thanks to three forces: rising costs, changing demand and disruptive technology. The result will be the reinvention of the university.

The internet, which has turned businesses from newspapers through music to book retailing upside down, will upend higher education. Now the MOOC, or “Massive Open Online Course”, is offering students the chance to listen to star lecturers and get a degree for a fraction of the cost of attending a university.

Like all revolutions, the one taking place in higher education will have victims. Many towns and cities rely on universities. In some ways MOOCs will reinforce inequality both among students (the talented will be much more comfortable than the weaker outside the structured university environment) and among teachers (superstar lecturers will earn a fortune, to the fury of their less charismatic colleagues).

Politicians will inevitably come under pressure to halt this revolution. They should remember that state spending should benefit society as a whole, not protect tenured professors from competition. The reinvention of universities will benefit many more people than it hurts. Students in the rich world will have access to higher education at lower cost and greater convenience. MOOCs’ flexibility appeals to older people who need retraining: edX, another provider, says that the median age of its online students in America is 31.

In the emerging world online courses also offer a way for countries like Brazil to leap-frog Western ones and supply higher education much more cheaply (see article). And education has now become a global market: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discovered Battushig Myanganbayar, a remarkably talented Mongolian teenager, through an online electronics course.

Interestingly the Economist seems to overlook one rather obvious consequence of such educational abundance and availability- the impact this will have on the value of the qualifications themselves. Like anything else the more educated people there are the less market value that education will have.

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21605906-cost-crisis-changing-labour-markets-and-new-technology-will-turn-old-institution-its

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I've been looking at Khan Academy - it's really good, free and the lecturers better than the teachers that I had. If you don't grasp something, you simply play it again. It's the future.

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I've been looking at Khan Academy - it's really good, free and the lecturers better than the teachers that I had. If you don't grasp something, you simply play it again. It's the future.

Khan Academy is a very good example of online education.

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Accreditation, and credible and secure arrangements for measuring achievement, will be key.

Otherwise it's just the online equivalent of the evening class in, say, millinery. Useful to the individual, who learns things he/she can use in his/her life, but of no value in the job market.

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Accreditation, and credible and secure arrangements for measuring achievement, will be key.

Otherwise it's just the online equivalent of the evening class in, say, millinery. Useful to the individual, who learns things he/she can use in his/her life, but of no value in the job market.

I disagree...... Distance learning will be beneficial to both student, teacher and employer and complements existing ways of learning.....universities should not feel threatened they should welcome and embrace it.....many employers already use it.

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I disagree...... Distance learning will be beneficial to both student, teacher and employer and complements existing ways of learning.....universities should not feel threatened they should welcome and embrace it.....many employers already use it.

By which I take you mean that employers use it for people they already employ. Where presumably they can judge how effective the learning is by the degree of improvement in their employees' performance.

I was thinking more of MOOCs as an alternative to traditional courses for people not yet in work. Where those who've studied on them need to have proof of what they've learned which they can present to potential employers.

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By which I take you mean that employers use it for people they already employ. Where presumably they can judge how effective the learning is by the degree of improvement in their employees' performance.

I was thinking more of MOOCs as an alternative to traditional courses for people not yet in work. Where those who've studied on them need to have proof of what they've learned which they can present to potential employers.

True many are for existing employees but many are accredited qualifications that a new employer recognises..... Things will change having more and better choices for all has to be a good thing a mixture of both ways.....at the moment the business of the university is a monopoly on education, now the fees are so large, changes and new options and ways of learning have to be implemented for all to benefit to a way that suits them.

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You need a framework too. It does not have to be teachers, or a school building. Just a structure to develop routine and habits.

The only argument the educationists could come up with was that 18 years need some discipline and lectures provided it. How they can do justify that argument when a lot humanities + art degrees have about 5h lectures a week . . .

When I was at school in the mid 80s, they had a bought a VCR and set of videos - just arithmetic I think.

One of the better teachers had been playing with it and monitoring its use and results.

He confessed that he thought that about half the teachers would be out of job soon.

Now this teacher was unusual in that he was over 65 and came from the RAF. He transferred out of technical training in a RAF college to come back to his home village. He stayed in teaching as he did not like his wife, and chatted to some kids as he could not stand the other teachers - he was vaguely right-wing at a time when most teachers were left of Marx. He was also practical and genuinely interested in how information could be transmitted to people and made use of use.

He was right (teachers were cr.p) and wrong (books are just as good as technology). I passed my O levels by going through the course books. Only 3 teachers during my 7 O level were competent. The rest were either winging it with the course book - quick scan of where they were, start writing that chapter on the black boards. The others were idiots who thought they could teach without the course book - the 1 years at teacher training college had given them magical, superpowers, allowing them to teach any course without bothering to read the curriculum or course material. The entire class failed two of my O levels - Design + Tech and technical drawing.

IMHO, a combination of books, on-line material and the odd tutorial from someone in the know are a much better option than the average teacher.

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It's interesting that when applying for my new job in software development the application form stated that no qualifications were required and self taught applicants were accepted. If you have ever been to a software interview you will know that to weed out the incapable they give you an on the spot 1/2 hour to hour test/exam. I guess it's a win-win for all involved if the employer can pick up a skilled worker without having to pay extra money that is sucked into student loan repayments.

In the UK going forward I expect to see a post 2009 degree with attached student loan a mill around your neck that will impede your chance of getting a position over lower cost self taught applicants. Software may be unique a certain as there are many well recognized, cheap self and taught certification exams that can taken at minimal expense.

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When I went to uni the first lecture we were sitting on the steps, 120 in a single lecture.

It weeded out quickly (despiter absurd A level requirements to get on the course) but basically the course was out of date (tech) and could easily have been better with a current online up to date one in its entirety.

£30k coud buy a string of software certs (as above), personal and skills training, travel, work experience, all sorts.

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Well, I'm on my 7th MOOC.. for the specific purpose of a person in-work wanting to expand and improve their skills, they are great. Vastly better than normal training courses.

As a university replacement, I'm conflicted on this. MOOCs have huge advantages of scale and accessibility, but there are elements of learning at University level - practicals, tutorials, fieldwork, that sort of thing - that are very hard to MOOC-ify. Programming does lend itself very well to MOOCS, other subjects less so.

There is also the social aspect of university, which you may snort at but is still important.

I suppose the danger is that the traditional University experience is shrunk in numbers and at the same time made fantastically expensive - basically it becomes an extension of private schooling with a few token talented-but-poor kids thrown in. And everyone else, if they are lucky, takes online courses and is told that they are just as good. Leading to totally predictable results, i.e. even more real-world exclusion.

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Speaking as someone who's done a fair bit of recruitment (graduate and non-graduate), generally we tend to look for people who have something which sets them apart which shows their hunger and desire for getting the job. To see someone who's spent a fair chunk of their spare time doing an online course while holding down a job says a lot about their mentality, and would probably set them apart from a candidate who's clearly spent the last four years in the boozer (much as I did at Uni!).

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Yet the business has changed little since Aristotle taught at the Athenian Lyceum: young students still gather at an appointed time and place to listen to the wisdom of scholars.

and to help the unemployment figures, to boost banking's lending figures and to give way to cheap overseas workers etc. Somehow these days it just doesn't seem to rhyme that much with Aristotle at the Athenian Lyceum.

Edited by billybong

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and to help the unemployment figures, to boost banking's lending figures and to give way to cheap overseas workers etc. Somehow these days it just doesn't seem to rhyme that much with Aristotle at the Athenian Lyceum.

You see, in theory the march of technology displacing jobs should mean:

- Longer education before going into the workforce

- Shorter working hours

- Earlier retirement.

So more students should be fine, without student loans.

The fact that if anything these trends are going backwards - and we are apparently setting records for the number of people in employment - suggests that something is very, very f***ed up with economics nowadays..

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You see, in theory the march of technology displacing jobs should mean:

- Longer education before going into the workforce

- Shorter working hours

- Earlier retirement.

So more students should be fine, without student loans.

The fact that if anything these trends are going backwards - and we are apparently setting records for the number of people in employment - suggests that something is very, very f***ed up with economics nowadays..

Maybe the endless supply of cheap immigrant labour along with rising energy prices has put the brakes on this for the time being...

for example, I remember in the 80s and 90s when almost every garage used to have a power/automatic car wash.

Dont see them much anymore, its Lithuanians and Romanians set up shop in the tesco car park with a bucket and water instead.

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The fact that if anything these trends are going backwards - and we are apparently setting records for the number of people in employment - suggests that something is very, very f***ed up with economics nowadays..

With economics or society?

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With economics or society?

Isnt economics just a product of society?

If we allow more and more capital to be stolen from producers and put in the hands of banks or the public sector, is it any surprise innovation isnt really working as we would expect?

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Speaking as someone who's done a fair bit of recruitment (graduate and non-graduate), generally we tend to look for people who have something which sets them apart which shows their hunger and desire for getting the job. To see someone who's spent a fair chunk of their spare time doing an online course while holding down a job says a lot about their mentality, and would probably set them apart from a candidate who's clearly spent the last four years in the boozer (much as I did at Uni!).

Much like you I spent 3 years in a pub at University, did the bare minimum of work to get a 2:1, had no relevant work experience and certainly have showed no interest in any relevant extra curricular self-improvement.

Do you really think the recruitment industry (and the general professionalism in recruitment from companies) is actually leading to the hiring of better staff? I'm not saying this to have a go I'm genuinely interested.

Only 12 years ago I got my first graduate job based on a CV, a half hour interview and a 10 minute practical test.

Now people seem to be subjected to all kinds of profiling, interview panels, half day presentations to get the same type of job.

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Isnt economics just a product of society?

If we allow more and more capital to be stolen from producers and put in the hands of banks or the public sector, is it any surprise innovation isnt really working as we would expect?

You end up creating a low-wage, low-skill economy riddled with corruption and debt and beset by poverty and injustice. Sound familiar?

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Like anything else the more educated people there are the less market value that education will have.

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21605906-cost-crisis-changing-labour-markets-and-new-technology-will-turn-old-institution-its

That would be true if the only purpose of education was to filter people for a certain level of job, but educated people are generally more economically productive so there is a net benefit from raising the average level.

Edited by goldbug9999

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Much like you I spent 3 years in a pub at University, did the bare minimum of work to get a 2:1, had no relevant work experience and certainly have showed no interest in any relevant extra curricular self-improvement.

Do you really think the recruitment industry (and the general professionalism in recruitment from companies) is actually leading to the hiring of better staff? I'm not saying this to have a go I'm genuinely interested.

Only 12 years ago I got my first graduate job based on a CV, a half hour interview and a 10 minute practical test.

Now people seem to be subjected to all kinds of profiling, interview panels, half day presentations to get the same type of job.

Apologies if I gave the impression I was in HR/Recruitment. Perish the thought! Much prefer the simple interview/hands-on test/presentation combo for recruiting. Tells you all you need to know, generally.

For what it's worth, I reckon the world would be a much better place if we simply fired all HR types off to another planet, Hitchhikers Guide-style!

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Apologies if I gave the impression I was in HR/Recruitment. Perish the thought! Much prefer the simple interview/hands-on test/presentation combo for recruiting. Tells you all you need to know, generally.

For what it's worth, I reckon the world would be a much better place if we simply fired all HR types off to another planet, Hitchhikers Guide-style!

Ah apologies for besmirching your good name!

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