Techno Fantasies

Audrey Watters, Hack Education, Apr 01, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Audrey Watters takes on Kevin Carey's book The End of College and does so with what is, I think, exactly the right tone, which is to say, distrust, scepticism and outright hostility. "The University of Everywhere is the response, led by venture capitalists and ed-tech entrepreneurs, to 'ancient institutions in their last days of decadence,' Carey argues. And we are to believe that an end will come soon for the oppressive regime created by colleges and universities, as he personally has numbered the days until they either 'adapt' or become extinct." Universities are lots of things, but they are not oppressive; they are indeed liberators, which is why admission to them is so valued, and why the forces of oppression target them for control and dismantling. Yes we need to fix education, but we need to be very careful to preserve what we value in education. Carey's vision does not do that, and indeed, undermines it.

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