How online education could stop the higher-ed bubble from bursting

There could be 25 million online college students by 2015, according to research.
Low-cost online courses could help higher education from becoming the next economic bubble that bursts and inflicts fiscal pain on institutions, investors, and students, said educational technology experts who want more inexpensive options for those seeking a college degree.

Economists and financial analysts first warned about the growing higher-education bubble in 2009. The bubble, they said, is fed by rising tuition, increasing enrollments, and crushing school debt that often can’t be paid by recent graduates who can’t find a good-paying job in a down economy.

And just as Americans were urged to invest in tech companies before the dot-com crash of 2000, or to buy property while housing prices skyrocketed in the mid-2000s, Americans are encouraged today – by everyone from family members to lawmakers – to sign up for college classes, even if it requires massive loans.…Read More

Texas moves emphasize need to open source education

ZDNet writer Dana Blankenhorn writes that Texas’s controversial decision to change its history curriculum has created an enormous opportunity for states, for communities, for publishers, and for authors to use open source and mass customization to transform education, just as those cost savings are most needed.

I didn’t intend to get into the Texas school board controversy. Personal reasons. After I left college I was a close friend of a guy who is now a member of that board, one of its most controversial. Back in 1978 David Bradley was drifting, but the woman he married around the time I knew him straightened him out. Last I saw him he was living in the mansion where the papers creating what later became Exxon were signed. But his latest silliness (only stupid kids believe the history they’re taught in high school) got me to thinking of the enormous opportunities there are for open source in education, starting in the area of textbooks. What lefty political types will tell you is that Texas’ school book standards are followed in lockstep by most other states, because Texas is such a large market and publishers don’t want to publish multiple books.What is really 1950 here is not the lesson plan, but the business model.

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