Illiterates as the new normal?

More than half of entering freshmen need remedial reading and math coursework to cope with the academic rigors of higher ed. The standards for academic performance are not changing. The students are changing. Institutions always know they are right and who is wrong. The standards cannot be questioned or changed. The only option is to fix the entering freshman who are obviously falling below standards and changing for the worse. According to the keepers of academic standards, there's no way these substandard students are the wave of innovation which will become the next normal.

  1. When the first steam railways began operating, it was apparent they were making very poor use of the canals that carried tons of barge traffic.
  2. When the first telephones got connected, they were practically useless compared to the elaborate network of telegraph transmission offices and delivery boys.
  3. When the first television stations began broadcasting, the selection of programs was paltry compared to the vast panorama of radio broadcasts
  4. When online games were offered on AOL and Compuserv in the 1980's, there was no way they could compete with card games, board games, party games or ball games.

  1. As entering freshman are far more media savvy than print literate, they are making very poor use of reading requirements and textbooks which has always delivered tons of information.
  2. As the first college students got connected to each other, the problems they solved were insignificant compared to professional experts hired to fix things.
  3. As the initial lectures and support materials were made accessible online, the selection was paltry compared to the panorama of online films, videos and games.
  4. As the online learning was first organized by LMS's like Blackboard and Moodle, there was no way they could compete with online shopping, socializing, gaming and content generation.

Do you see a pattern here like I must be? Am I drawing valid parallels between shifts in technology and remedial coursework for entering college students?

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