By Stuart Butler
American higher education is on the verge of an enormous and rapid transformation — a “disruptive innovation.” The scale and scope of the change is likely to be similar to that experienced in computers and telecommunications (thanks to the likes of Steve Jobs), and the news industry. The result will be an American college system that is very different from today’s.
Perhaps understandably, it has been the growing impact of education technology that has attracted most attention, due to the emergence in recent years of such phenomena as massive open online courses (MOOCs) – with thousands of students enrolled in each course. It’s true that the spread of low-cost, even free, online introductory classes from new providers, such as Coursera and edX, will make it increasingly difficult for traditional universities to use tuition from heavily subscribed “101” classes to cross-subsidize expensive upper-level courses. This will be especially the case as innovators offer low-cost courses through accredited institutions that can count towards degrees and be eligible for federal student aid. CONTINUE READING HERE