The electrification of college educations

Colleges are already electrified in the literal sense. Colleges operate in that literal sense. Institutions of higher education get that they have access to and make use of electricity. They assume they are not in the dark about changes outside their institutions because they work by electric light and plug their computers into electric outlets. They are on the grid and getting fed with the latest updates which must mean they are keeping up with the changing times.

To operate in the literal sense, we take things as they appear. The facts are the facts. The evidence speaks for itself. We can deal with what appears to us objectively, as if we're not messing around with our empirical observations. We assume there's nothing going on between us and what's out apparently there to distort our impressions. There's no need to count us in or join the circuity while runs through us to what we observe. We can categorize what we see accurately and be done with "it".

When we operate in the literal sense, we are spellbound by ink on paper and industrial mechanisms. We think our thinking is reliable while it's undermining everything in sight. We don't get this Web 2.0 thing or the strange surge of altruism it evokes. We don't know what to do with being subscribed to beyond doing our thing and getting feedback. We don't see that online offerings keep the industrialized, literal sense of educating on life support. We don't get the more subtle effects of electrification that are coming into full realization amidst this global recession.

Colleges in the literal sense will persist unaltered for a much smaller percentage of the population than currently enrolls in degree programs. College will continue to be useful for the R&D crowd that needs to be brought up to speed in complex, technical disciplines. Colleges will continue to be subsidized to advance a cutting edge of science and develop multi-disciplinary synergies. Colleges will inevitably breed more academicians who will continue creating more conceptual, abstract and philosophical knowledge. Colleges will seem like AM radios, pendulum clocks, land line phones, printed pages, file cabinets and movie theaters -- still here even though times have changed.

In the meantime:
  • Professions will be obsolesced and replaced by extraordinary collegiality among open business models.
  • Professional educations will no longer prepare students for contexts with no need for credentials and tremendous opportunities for contribution.
  • The rite of passage into adulthood that colleges currently bungle will be offered at less expense during shorter intensives.
  • Authentic communities will provide with much better experiences, outcomes and repercussions for all participants of transitions, and socialization experiences.
  • The vain attempts at benign dictatorships overseeing advertising-supported, "free" social spaces on the web will be superseded by egalitarian, direct democracies forums.
  • The dissemination of free tools for creating, editing, collaborating, scheduling, contacting, publishing and broadcasting will be extended into instructional designing, tutoring, teaming, and counseling.
  • A mash-up of peers and volunteers will yield superior educational outcomes to anything that can be accomplished by textbook, tests and grading.
Getting a higher education will become electrified for those who get what effects digitization is having on everything in sight in the figurative sense.

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