Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This same trend is reflected, albeit to a lesser degree, in other countries. And in the United States, as this article shows, the higher education system is set up to benefit the wealthy and give them multiple advantages over the poor. “It’s creating something of a caste system that for too many people takes them from wherever they were on the socioeconomic spectrum and leaves them even more unequal.” The reason I am working in online learning is to act against this trend, to take these advantages away, one by one, to give the poor as much opportunity to and through education as the wealthy. It's not just about access to resources (though that's part of it). It's about forming self-supporting communities, extending the network into the workplace, access to social supports and scaffolds, providing models and creating expectations, and much more. Most of the ways elite universities benefit their rich clientele happens outside the class, and it's a great myth that access to learning is the same as access to courses and texts.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Copyright 2021
Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 6:13 p.m.