Tradition will prevail over online offerings

Everybody is talking about Moocs and how global education is about to be irremediably transformed by the emergence and easy availability of these massive open online courses, the Financial Times reports. At the click of a mouse, some of the world´s top professors can enlighten billions on all topics imaginable. No need to go to Stanford or Harvard any more, as Stanford and Harvard are coming to you, via the internet. For many, the verdict is already beyond dispute: Moocs are the future, bricks and mortar so passé. Do I hear “irrational exuberance”? Thanks to the internet, bubbles (always present throughout human history, be it in stocks, art, or tulips) can be created much faster and much more often. Opinions and dictums travel the world in a matter of seconds and a new conventional wisdom can be engineered in a matter of hours, globally. Currently a Mooc bubble is taking shape. Want to look savvy and sharp at your next dinner party? By all means embrace “Moocism” and reject “bricks-and-mortarism”. But as with so many other bubbles, this one may burst spectacularly.

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