Our thesis with xEducation is that the internet is happening to higher education and that successful universities of the future will be those that find ways to generate value for its many stakeholders that go beyond content provision and teaching. What exactly that value proposition is remains unclear. On the one hand, content and (recorded) lectures can easily be shared with limited costs. The internet scales content exceptionally well. The human, social, processes of learning don’t scale. Research doesn’t scale (yet). Regional and national economic value generation doesn’t scale. In these spaces where scalability does not work well, universities will likely find their new roles in society. Over the next six months, we’ll explore and test this thesis and place the discussion of higher education reform on a firmer foundation than the latest tool and popular hype [Emphasis mine].
When we ask the question “Why School?” or “what is our value when content and teachers are everywhere?” the answer rests in that human, social process. And I think this is a function of K-12 as much if not more than higher ed. If our focus is not in developing learners through the face to face nudging, modeling, questioning, feedback that stems from our human selves, that stuff that technology, to date at least, has not been able to provide, then I think we run the risk of irrelevance.