Colleges for illiterates

Went I went through my undergraduate degree program, information was scarce and authorities commanded respect. Nowadays, information is abundant and respect gets earned by lots of other qualities besides authority. (transparency, authenticity, consistency, reciprocity, etc.)

When I learned to read, I was absorbing much longer paragraphs than fit in a tweet or text message. Lately, the length to be absorbed is like this paragraph.

When going to college made more sense than it does now, it was widely presumed that we needed expertise to solve problems. Nowadays, it more obvious that experts are making a mess of problems which are extremely complex, interconnected and non-linear.

When I worked on group projects in college, I was applying what I had learned in books. Lately it makes more sense to read people and shared situations to get practice at solving complex problems together.

When colleges enforced reading requirements, there was no way to graduate if one's reading comprehension was under-developed. Nowadays, reading is getting replaced by socializing, authoring and collaborating in ways that make a bigger difference than reading every could.

When colleges get reinvented for the 21st century, they will be designed for illiterates to graduate with honors. They will be honored by their peers who know first hand of the differences they made, the problems they solve and the respect they earned in the process.

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