Okay, was going to punt with a post, but I'm sitting here watching Gov. Tim Pawlenty talking about privatizing education (specifically at the collegiate level) and how wonderful that will be. See, why make people schlep books across a campus to fall asleep in an uncomfortable classroom while some old person droned on when you can have them maybe watch an iPhone video when they wanted to and how they want to.
What a load of crap.
No, really. It's populism that lowers expectations (instead of the kind that lifts us all). There's a reason why most online universities aren't getting accredited.
In my own class I've heard the comment about how a student, smart as they are, downloaded the teacher's PowerPoint presentation (which, BTW, she was unable to make them for the class on energy transport and cellular respiration because the instructor could figure out how to translate it to PP) and printed it out so she didn't have to take notes in class.
See, this is a misunderstand of how people actually learn. Now, do I need to read the textbook, take the notes, after listening to the lecture? You know, not really so much. I don't brag much about it, but yes, my IQ tests out at genius level (just barely, but let's say getting Mensa membership, if I wanted it, wouldn't be a problem). For my BFA, I think I read a total of 5 textbooks during class (and most of those were for my first degree in computer programming). Hell, I literally sleep through Psych 101 and still got an A (I was working 1st shift at the Post Office, and 1st shift was 10pm-6am).
And did I mention this is a 100 level course, and in a field my wife teaches in?
But I'm reading the book. And I'm taking the notes (the old fashion way including what is on the board and what the instructor is saying). And I'm attending the lecture. Why? Because I'm reinforcing the material twice (primary lecture, supplemented by the textbook and writing out the notes). Education is hard. There's a reason why it is. I could get more info using Blackboard (an online tool the college is using). However, it doesn't work for me, because I don't have broadband.
So, how am I doing? Since you asked (because, again, I hate the bragging), with 8 quizes and two tests down I have an average of 100% with 10.5 bonus points. We don't have our first report back, and I don't know how I did on it (the second report isn't due until next week, but it's been finished for over a week). Given the level of groaning in the class when tests and quizzes are passed back, I think I'm at the top (although I haven't confirmed that).
There's also three students in the class that I overheard complaining that they have either an online degree, or one from the "business schools," and now they're back to get a "real" degree (well, the employers think it's real). Yeah.
However, I'm sure "it's the future." I'll believe it when I get my jetpack.