While MOOCs, those massive open online courses, no longer quiver with the same Buzz today as they did a couple of years ago when the VC panthers had a persuasion plan, let’s look at a fun quote from the past about another technology that was going to revolutionize education: Television.
Let us take as an example the case of television . . . On the other hand and in the long run, television may bring a gradual end to the careers of schoolteachers, since school was an invention of the printing press and must stand or fall on the issue of how much importance the printed word has. For four hundred years, schoolteachers have been part of the knowledge monopoly created by printing, and they are now witnessing the breakup of that monopoly . . .
Neil Postman, Technopoly: the Surrender of Culture to Technology, page 10, 1992.
Hard to miss the rhyme from Postman’s 1992 prose about TV with MOOC incantations of Big Change to Big Education. This time is different! This technology will change how we change Other Guys, at least in education.
Of course, teachers and universities did not lose their monopoly with the rise of TV and they won’t with MOOCs. As long as they control the monopoly on the printing press called a diploma, go long on Gutenberg’s Oldsmobile: the U with football, frats, and beer!
Stay long on the panthering possibilities with technological devices – apps ‘n iGizmos – with Other Guys living iSmart in the iAge. Hurry, though. Wall Street is getting nervous with iSmart companies. Unless Marc Andreessen (scroll to bottom) comes up with something new we may be near the beginning of the end of the Internet as the solution for everything that ails us.