The Evolllution (those extra “L’s” mean ILluminating the Life Long Learning Movement) is an online newspaper that covers important trends and people in education. So it’s not surprising that the publication recently published an interview with StraighterLine’s CEO, Burck Smith.
If you’re interested in what’s happening on the leading edge of learning, you’ll want to read this interview. But until you do, here are a few outtakes of what Smith has to say . . .
Why so many different providers are entering the higher education marketplace today . . .
“Well, I think what you’re seeing in the marketplace is a lowering of the barriers to entry. Online learning in particular; it does not cost very much to create an online course. Heretofore, we have had to organize education in a central spot with big buildings. That’s how we attracted … the students who would be able to convey whatever knowledge we were trying to convey, but that’s not the case anymore …”
Why prestigious universities are offering their course content for free online . . .
“My belief is that most of the elite institutions that are getting into the MOOC game are really getting into this to extend their brand. They’re not really interested in taking credits for the MOOCs or lowering their prices, but what they want to do is extend their brand to around the world, really.”
On the big educational questions . . .
“I do think there are a lot of questions, still, about what is education exactly. Is it the mastering of skills? Is it mastering of content? Is it something transferable as credits from one place to another? Is it the social stamp of approval? Is it selectivity? A pathway to a job? All of those are questions that are still being grappled with. We have kind of been able to sweep them, all of them, under the rug of higher education, but now we’re being able to tease those apart in sometimes useful and often controversial ways.”
By the way, you don’t necessarily have to read The Evolllution’s interview with our CEO. You can download it and listen to it instead. How cool is that?
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