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.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Brave New World on Campus

Technology is forcing higher education to change. Some experts predict that disruptive forces will lead to the end of the campus-life experience for students as institutions move to new ways of delivering content.

A recent Wall Street Journal article even suggested the university of the future may just use the campus for its amenities and not bother with hiring faculty since massive open online courses would provide instruction.

“It’s a business model that just might work, especially in geographic locations students favor,” the author wrote. “Grand Cayman is awfully nice this time of year.”

A strategy to reimage college buildings is already underway, according to Anthony Flint, author and fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. He cited an experiment at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts where dormitory space is being used for lectures and a “tinkering space” being tested by the University of Utah as two examples in an article for The Atlantic.

“It’s a fascinating rethinking of the historic model of institutions cloistered behind ivy-covered walls,” Flint wrote. “What seems to be equally true is that all the tiers of higher education—elite privates, publics, community colleges—seem to be looking at this reboot. MIT, Princeton, Caltech, Chicago, all are reassessing the composition of the physical campus, trying to anticipate the brave new world.”

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