Agarwal said he was encouraged by SJSU’s willingness to expand the use of edX courses, adding that he sees the acceptance of blended learning only the second major shift in education since the advent of the printing press five centuries ago. The other shift? Agarwal said it was the chalkboard.

“We’re placing the instructor front and foremost, rather than facing the blackboard [with back to students],” he said. “The real value is in helping students learn and helping students process information. [Students] need to learn how to learn. That’s what professors should be teaching students, not just spouting content.”

California Lieutenant Gov. Gavin Newsome said at SJSU’s press conference that adapting to technologically savvy students would be essential for universities that hope to speed up degree completion while keeping costs under control.

“These folks are wired differently. These digital natives cannot be educated like we were educated,” Newsome said. “The old system has run its course, like the industrial age has run its course.”

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