The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

What we can learn from the decline of the newspaper industry

This week’s issue of The Chronicle features interesting commentary by Kevin Carey that discusses how technology could impose a similar threat on the higher education industry as it has on the newspaper industry. He explains that the industries are threatened by technology because they are both in the business of creating and communicating information and technology is making this easier than ever before. He goes on to say that what is happening now to the newspaper industry was actually predicted in the 1990’s when the internet was introduced so newspapers had time to prepare for the digital future but the temptation to cling to the old ways was too great. However, it is not too late for higher education, the industry still has more time to embrace technology, prepare for change, and move to a more sustainable cost structure. It would be a mistake to believe that accreditation will be enough to protect universities because with the economy in decline and tuition on the rise, the number of students taking online courses is growing by hundreds of thousands each year. If higher education decides to hold on to the past like the newspaper industry did, “then someday, sooner than we think, we're going to be reading about the demise of once-great universities — not in the newspaper, but in whatever comes next.”

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