Below is a link to an article in The Atlantic on the future of College. It is about some innovations in the field of higher education. It can’t come soon enough. Of all things that can be changed by computer technology education has the most room for change.
Think of your local Discount big box store. You go in to buy a pair of socks. As soon as you purchase your socks the manufacturing plant that made them immediately knows to produce another one of that size and the yarn manufacturer immediately knows to make more of that yarn and multitudinous and complex computer programs adjust shipping schedules so that another pair of socks arrives at that Walmart before they run out.
Think of your local Discount Airline. You no longer use a travel agent you buy your own ticket online. If you talk to a person the odds are good that that person is in their own home talking over a dispersed system and not in some centralized call centre (Canadian spelling of centre). Computers and telecommunications have driven more and more waste out of the system.
Now think of your local discount college. Educational institutions do not even provide a hard good. No socks, No airplanes. Almost everything that a college does can be done by computer and what can’t be done by computer can be done by a person an a telephone. The only person to person contact that we need is when it comes to testing and soon we may not even need that.
The rule of economics is that when the price comes down consumption goes up. If we can drive down the cost of education then more people will have access to education. I don’t see a down side.