ONE REBOOT WORTH WATCHING: Representatives from California state office, MOOCs, and higher education met at UCLA for 20 Million Minds' RE:BOOT panel. The goal of the discussion was to discuss the potential for online education to mitigate the rising higher ed costs in California.
Udacity's Sebastian Thrun asked why his water company and cable company served him for life while universities only support a student for a few years. For Thrun, supporting lifelong education may be the key to universities staying relevant. StraighterLine CEO, Burck Smith agreed: "When the UC system prices its online courses at $1,400 or $1,500, there's a problem in the marketplace." Costs are rising so fast that USA Today estimates that a child born today will pay $41k a year to attend a public college.
But amidst the MOOC hype at RE:BOOT, Philip Regier, VP of ASU Online, issued a few words of caution: "What makes university graduates so valuable to companies like Google and Intel is their ability to communicate, to be flexible, to learn, to think critically, and to analyze--we need to be careful about preserving that as we move towards efficiency." Daphne Koller, co-founder of Coursera, urged for a bit of patience, asserting that there is no replacement for face-to-face learning and that MOOCs could learn a thing or two from the flipped classroom.