Your Massively Open Offline College Is Broken

Clay Shirky,, Feb 08, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Good comprehensive discussion from Clay Shirky on some of the drivers underlying th concept of the MOOC. "For all our good will, college in the U.S. has gotten worse for nearly everyone who relies on us. For some students—millions of them—the institutions in which they enroll are more reliable producers of debt than education. This has happened on our watch. The competition from upstart organizations will make things worse for many of us. (I like the experiments we’ve got going at NYU, but I don’t fantasize that we'll be unscathed.) After two decades of watching, though, I also know that that’s how these changes go. No industry has ever organized an orderly sharing of power with newcomers, no matter how interesting or valuable their ideas are, unless under mortal threat." I remember fifteen years ago exchanging banter with Conrad Albertson in Brandon to the effect that the barbarians were at the gates. It has been a long siege. But we are beginning to see the walls waver. This is a good thing, for a lot of people, a lot of us, who are on the outside.

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