Thomas Friedman writes about Monday’s Harvard/MIT symposium on MOOCS

Thomas Friedman has written a wonderful column with his takeaways from Monday’s symposium on MOOCs and their impact on residential education. Here’s a taste:

Institutions of higher learning must move, as the historian Walter Russell Mead puts it, from a model of “time served” to a model of “stuff learned.” Because increasingly the world does not care what you know. Everything is on Google. The world only cares, and will only pay for, what you can do with what you know. And therefore it will not pay for a C+ in chemistry, just because your state college considers that a passing grade and was willing to give you a diploma that says so. We’re moving to a more competency-based world where there will be less interest in how you acquired the competency — in an online course, at a four-year-college or in a company-administered class — and more demand to prove that you mastered the competency.

The column is a great summary of the challenges universities are grappling with in this new era of online learning.

One thought on “Thomas Friedman writes about Monday’s Harvard/MIT symposium on MOOCS

  1. This appears to be true for people furthering their education after frist having some employment under their belt. They can enhance their resume/attractiveness to a new employer. But I think it folly that we can educate people of college age to specifications for openings at graduation. “High School” is the gathering of learning tools. “College” is the gain of background towards “economic” production (exception – educators). First “job” in orientation in productive endevor. Only then, with absorbsion of what “experience” teaches, can one narrow the scope and thus gain “expertise” an enterprise wants, needs and employs. This is the educational process being put forth here that without the earlier steps can not take root. Yes, training and education within employment seems to be dead. Enterprise wants to buy a comodity (expertise) rather than create or develop it. Like everything else, raw material demand is the same whether it be input of things or people or tools. Let us further define this path, enhance the facility to pursue the path and not forget any of the parts of the process. To do that is to continue or ignore the disconnect between education and enterprise.


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