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Saturday, May 4, 2013

San Jose State Philosophy Professors protest the wheel, the lever and Online Education

Interesting protest by San Jose philosophy professors – if they had been born a bit earlier they of course would have fought the wheel, the lever and the printing press.
Colleges continue to dislike measuring results – the argument being that their “work” is simply too important to measure.  It has to be accepted on blind faith. And if you can't measure it then we will have to rely on the intuition and experience of those that will be losing their jobs rather than on the unbiased results.  You can see where that will lead us.
And it is not just professors but also college presidents.  The article points out: “Many college presidents, too, are MOOC (massive open online courses) skeptics. In a Gallup poll released Thursday, most of the 889 presidents surveyed said they did not expect online education to solve colleges’ financial challenges or improve all students’ learning.” – well guess what if we get rid of half of our professors then we should be able to get rid of half of our college presidents as well.
This honest evaluation tells all about the priorities of too many college professors relative to the debate on using more technology to provide a better education at a lower price: “I started out very enthusiastic about the democratization of higher education through the global MOOCs, but I’ve gotten more cautious as my colleagues talk about what it might mean for jobs, at public universities,”  in other words it was all milk and honey until I figured out that it might cost me my job or at a minimum result in a cut in pay – and after all, my pay and benefits are job one.
Our college system acts like a virtual monopoly for many opportunities and many in this institution won’t give up that monopoly without kicking, screaming and whining.

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