Disrupting College

It’s taken a while but I got around to reading the Center for American Progress report, Disrupting College. 1 It was a really fascinating read, highly recommend it.

One quote particularly stood out. While describing the disruption that occurred in the computer industry the authors characterize the old mainframe model by writing:

We had to take our computational problems to these centralized computer centers where experts solved them for us.

This contrasts with the current smartphone era. We now have the computational power for many daily tasks residing in our front pocket. This all got me thinking about college.

With the traditional college system we have the same mainframe model. We take our knowledge problems and inexperience to a centralized place where experts with many years of training help solve them for, or in the best case with, us. Carry the analogy from mainframe computing over to education and holy mind explosion Batman! If we could even achieve half of the transformation accomplished with computers we’d be in for some wonderful times.

A future where the tools for education are accessible on an individual scale and where geographic location is no longer a limiting factor makes me really excited.