Online and other alternative education avenues are one of those undeniably postive things that bode well for those who wish to “keep hope alive” regarding the future of the country. From the Heritage Foundation:
College in America will look very different in just a few years, thanks to remarkable innovations taking place in technology and business models in higher education. The advance of Online 2.0 will trigger structural changes in what we mean by a “college education.” Students in the future will be more likely to pursue their studies in an “unbundled” system in which different institutions provide different parts of a student’s higher education experience. Students will be more likely to learn through a blend of online coursework and a residential experience and will likely assemble a guided and rounded transcript of courses and experiences that are independently credentialed, allowing future employers to have a better measure of their skills.
College in the not too distant future will look substantially different from college today. It will be better and drastically cheaper. While existing colleges and universities will fight against it (particularly the drastically cheaper part), change is coming. This change is driven by what we could call “Online 2.0,” a truly disruptive innovation. Online 2.0 takes today’s version of online education to another level by making the whole curriculum competency-based and using self-paced courses that eliminate the need for a course instructor.
Today, much attention is focused on the new concept of MOOCs (massively open online courses) like Coursera and EdX. However, a more important development is that the colleges are beginning to offer accredited degrees through Online 2.0.