navigating a world which feels like gravity is working in reverse

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egos and change in education

The dizzying pace of change is making the proverb “pride cometh before fall” more true than it used to be.  And not for reasons of slighting some god but for pragmatic ones.  Ego was a luxury reserved for when change happened slowly.  Take the four year college for example.  Most people know we’re far past peak college and the whole thing is going to come crashing down in the next five years.  But colleges are veritable ego nurseries (I know, I went to Wheaton for four years and worked for it two more).  The status quo is unsustainable simply because the younger generation is realizing a four year degree (particularly at a private institution) just doesn’t offer a return on the exorbitant investment.  Before I went to college in 1998 I had access to the internet but back then there wasn’t social media or an easy way to get the perspective of those after college.  Now with Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter there is (see lostgeneration subreddit).

Udemy (an online course vendor) just lowered its prices on courses drastically.  For many subjects such as Computer Science, the quality of instruction is better than most colleges.  Anyone with a laptop and a tablet (it’s nice to watch the videos on a tablet while having the code editor open on the computer) with enough discipline can learn just about anything.  The future of much of education is just computer labs with dual monitor setups running Udemy (or a similar vendor’s) courses with facilitators walking around to help (perhaps people in the industry who are either paid or volunteer depending on the funding source of the school).  What this future of education leaves out is all the administrative layers that have pushed up tuition to sky high levels.

But the people at the top of schools don’t want to hear this, they’re going to keep riding the gravy train of higher education until the tracks mysteriously disappear.