Quick Look: Envisioning a Post-Campus America

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MIT was among the first to offer courses online for free with the launch of MIT OpenCourseWare 10 years ago. Now, the venerable institution is offering certificates for its online coursework, and the implications could go in any direction. The Atlantic's Megan McArdle offers some points to ponder, including the following: "The role of schooling in upward mobility will change. This is kind of a cop-out, because I'm not sure which way the change runs.  I can tell a story where eUniversities make it radically easier for smart, poor kids to advance in their spare time.  I can also tell a story where education is very complementary to the kind of personal networks and social capital that middle-class kids can tap through their parents.  For poor kids who can get there (and stay there), college provides a lot of education on how to socialize with other college students, and of course, expert professionals who can help you find a job if you ask for help." Read the full post.

MIT is going to offer certificates for completion of low-cost online coursework, an offering the university is calling MITx. Stephen Gordon ponders the implications: I've seen a fair amount of speculation along these lines. I'm probably more skeptical than most of the boosters, however.

Read more at: www.theatlantic.com