Unthinking Technophilia

Jennifer Cost, et. al., Inside Higher Ed, Jan 15, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

A collection of Six community college faculty members have taken it upon themselves to denounce MOOCs on the grounds that "MOOCs are designed to impose, not improved learning, but a new business model on higher education, which opens the door for wide-scale profiteering." I thought about writing a reply, but I thought instead about this article, also in Inside Higher Ed, which states (to quote the newsletter) "Union College in Kentucky typically loses half its freshman class before the second year begins, so its new president has made students a promise: If they stay, work hard, and get involved, they won't see a bill for their last semester before graduation." And I'm thinking, who exactly are the profiteers here? Half the class at this college gets nothing for their investment of tuition and a year of their lives, but it's the other guys that are profiteering? The enthusiasm for MOOCs has nothing to do with technophilia. It has everything to do with a system that is more and more frequently being seen as the problem, not the solution.

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