Bill Gates: Internet Learning Poised to Outpace "Place-Based" Colleges

Barry Lenson

“Place-based” colleges are losing importance. Internet learning is posed for remarkable growth.

Those are the views that Bill Gates expressed on August 9th when he spoke at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe. You can read about his talk in a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, and watch the video.

Here are some quotes from his talk . . .

  • "Five years from now on the Web for free, you'll be able to find the best lectures in the world. It will be better than any single university,"
  • “K through 12 is partially about babysitting, so the parents can do other things . . . I don’t predict some radical change in that. Actually, some of the best charter schools are the boarding schools where you . . . you create a full-immersion environment . . .  that is very different from college courses.”
  • “The self-motivated learner will be on the Web and there will be far less place-based things. In fact, you can get feedback, you can have discussions, you can have videos.”
  • “College, except for parties, needs to be less place-based.”
  • “. . . tuition is, say, $50,000 a year so over four years—a $200,000 education . . . We’re trying to provide it to every kid who wants it, and only technology can bring that down not just to $20,000, but to $2,000.”
  • “So yes, place-based activity . . . will be five times less important than it is today."

We think those are visionary thoughts - from a visionary thinker.

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