Online, AI technologies will wipe out old models of higher-ed…but it’s happened before

socrates-education-technologyWith the expansion of online technologies, like MOOCs, data aggregation, and computing powers capable of adaptive processes, higher education is changing. But to what extent, and is it here to stay? And…is it anything new?

Those were some of the main questions discussed during the Future Tense—a partnership of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State University to discuss emerging technologies, policy and society—discussion hosted in Washington D.C., “Hacking the University: Will Tech Fix Higher Education?

“If 2012 was the year of the MOOC, according to the New York Times, 2013 was something of a reality check,” said the partnership. “MOOCs were meant to give people all over the U.S. (and the world) access to the best lecturers and classes from some of America’s top universities. But their first iterations have been beset with problems—lack of student engagement, high dropout rates—leading critics to question their long-term value.”

The initial discussion of the event, led by Kevin Carey, director of the Education Policy Program at the New American Foundation, revealed that MOOCs highlight the usual trajectory of new technologies that are supposed to transform education: big promises, followed by the trough of disillusionment, and a return to the status quo.

Or wait…will it return to the status quo?

(Next page: Is any of this technology new?)


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