The non-Uberization of education

Martin Weller, The Ed Techie, Feb 22, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I am somewhat sympathetic with this point, but for very different reasons. I think most of the apparent benefit of the so-called 'sharing economy' is based on offering an end-run around taxation or regulation. And unlike education, it's not immediately obvious that a completely unregulated transportation or housing service is a bad ideaBut it is a bad idea, and especially so for education.

But that's not the tack Martin Weller takes. He argues that taxis and hotels are fundamentally different services. A taxi ride is a brief interaction, but a learning experience is much longer. The needs of learners are much more diverse. Riders know where they want to go, but learners don't. And "the ability to construct a curriculum or design a learning activity that can be effectively delivered online is quite rare." On reflection, I don't think any of these are true. Or, if they are true, so much the worse for education. The whole 'education is such a difficult and complex process' argument has never appealed to me.

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