EdTech Takedown

I found this article on MOOC over-enthusiasm well worth reading:

Friedman continued his great quest to unmake the system of higher education that has existed since the Middle Ages, to render the university as merely an information delivery system brought to you by Harvard-via-Google. Two days in Cambridge assured him that the wave of the future was for students to acquire the basic information “at their own pace” online, freeing up the classroom for “lab experiments,” “questions and answers,” and the general “honing” of competency. . . .

I won’t dwell . . . on the irony of putting the large, 14,000 student lecture at the heart of this educational model. I won’t spend too much time saying, of course, that a university is not like an automobile manufacturer in a thousand ways, ranging from its nonprofit status to the absence of a consumable product. I won’t retreat, simply, into the rarefied notion that higher learning is an aspiration of civil society, that it improves the “we,” and that it is not aimed at training the workforce of the 21st century. I won’t link to the billions of intelligent thoughtful posts about the MOOC revolution, about what it augers for all of us. And I won’t wonder why Friedman is a big believer in the “flat” digital world, except for when his writing requires him to take an “in person” plush holiday to Palo Alto or New England.

The praeteritio alone is better than my own verbose response.