Monday, September 14, 2009

Virtual Revolution

There was an interesting article in the Sunday Washington Post about the virtual education revolution. It is interesting because the revolution is getting a huge boost from the economy and it is puzzling to me that bricks and mortar institutions are not figuring this out at all.

Students have less money to go to school so institutions have to find efficiencies in their system or they will lose customers. At the same time, institutions are getting significantly less money from the state and feds. But we have more kids wanting to go to college. The result is more crowded classrooms and kids having to stay in school longer because the classes they need are full.

My own daughter had significant problems putting together her schedule at JMU this semester. And all I could think of was why don’t they offer more online courses so the timing wouldn’t be so difficult and it would save everyone some money?? The article makes the great point that many of the classes taught today are “commodities” that can be accomplished with high volume, low cost methods that virtual classes can easily provide.

The university systems need to wake up or they will be left behind.