What are we going to do about learning in the future when there are SO many great ways to learn that are not connected to degree programs?
I am listening to Wil Richardson right now and he mentioned all of the MIT courses that are online. I have not looked at it yet, but he says that everything is there: the syllabus, a discussion board, tests, and answers to the tests. And it is all free! I am sure that some people are fascinated by certain things and don't have the way to get into MIT, but NOW they can take the courses online. Most of them couldn't compete with an MIT graduate, but I would bet that there are some who can.
I like learning and the way I do personal professional development is to read blogs, to listen to podcasts, participate in Webinars, and read online journals. All the learning that I do benefits me in many ways, but not in terms that can be measured, like a degree. Much of the learning I am doing this way is of higher quality than some of the courses I took for my Master's Degree.
I am not saying there is not a place for academics and scholars, but I think it is going to change somehow. Do you have any ideas about what is going to happen?
[Important background: I am married to a University Professor and I highly respect professors!]