Tonawanda News — An online education is definitely out there. It’s not only the torrent of information the Internet offers, but the quality; genuine college courses offered by excellent teachers from schools whose names you recognize have entire semesters’ worth of classes posted, and delivered for free. Philosophy, engineering, literature, history, math, business, oh, it’s out there.
When this catches on, those braggarts with college educations will be shocked to observe how little status their accomplishment conveys when compared to the motivated person who did it all, for free, without ever wandering the quad or attempting to park fast enough for that 8 a.m. class. All learning, no school, courtesy of the very mechanism that brings you porn, video games and inane Facebook posts.
What the conscientious independent student can gain is astounding, but what will we lose and have to rethink? Well, tuition, those decals in the rear windows of cars, high school teachers who suggest you’re not living up to your potential (if they lived up to theirs, they’d be lecturing on the Internet), college football, academic probation, laptop envy, Pell grants, the tyranny of the SATs, higher education as babysitter, tenure, publish or perish, state-mandated certification, alumni associations, dorm rooms, beer festivals in someone’s apartment … the list goes on, challenged only by the limited imagination of a college graduate.
If a person can locate, and succeed at, college-level Internet, he or she likely can learn how to drink. I’m not worried about that. What concerns me is the social upheaval when it dawns on the young, and families of the young, that not going to college, ever, except maybe to lecture, may be better than going.
Imagine a world in which a proud mother tells her friends her kid saved the family between 40 and 160 grand and got a quality education by loitering at the computer, something at which he/she is eminently proficient, and can outthink/out-reason/out-succeed her friends’ soggy-brained college graduate children.