“Watching the Ivory Tower Fall?”

Could education as we know it … end, because of technology?  An article from the Wall Street Journal, on March 24th, “Watching the Ivory Tower Fall” states that technology is opening up educational opportunities for everyone, and college as we know it (and they even name Harvard and Yale) will cease to exist in its current form.

I do see the benefit of free programs like Khan Academy. I encourage my students and my children to use it regularly. But, do we really just need Sal Khan and some computer guys programming the ideal educational program (from Khanacademy.com)? Or is there still something to be said about the teacher/student interaction?

There is one study … just a little one, conducting by my colleague, Jyh-Hann Chang, and I, where we found that students in face to face class reported an increase in academic self efficacy, metacogntion, and feelings that the teacher cared ( a variable that is critical important for low SES students) when compared to students in similar classes taught by the same professors that were all on-line. Are students getting something out of face to face classes that go beyond test grades?  Our little study is saying, they are.

I’m going to leave these questions for all of you, and look forward to your responses.

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