WNPR

Sign Up for Tuition-Free College at the University of Everywhere

May 26, 2015

In Connecticut and across the nation, students of all ages can now enroll in college courses online for free, and receive credit for them in many places. How can universities afford to do this?

Our guest says higher education must adapt to the demands of the digital planet or become irrelevant. The money part will be figured out later. So far, the start of the new revolution appears to be working.

The massive open online courses, most tuition-free, are known by the acronym "MOOCs," and students across the world are quickly enrolling at Yale, Wesleyan, Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard, with more colleges jumping quickly on the digital bandwagon.

This hour we'll hear the pros and cons of the new wave. Our guest Kevin Carey has taken an MIT MOOC course. He's author of a book about this education reconfiguration, The End of College

Carey says:

  • The current organization of college is out of step and the industry is being rapidly rethought.
  • The U.S. education system is the world's most expensive one without results to show for those skyrocketing costs.
  • Venture cap funding in digital learning classes is now at $1.2 billion.
  • The first digital learning class began as a collaboration between Google and Stanford. The class quickly drew 58,000 students worldwide who signed up to study artificial intelligence with rock star Stanford professor Sebastian Thurn.
  • There will be no more Lady/Gentleman C's in digital classes. Supposedly, everyone will be held to the same standard.
  • While billions of people online will reveal how humans learn best, will we lose something vital having them removed from classrooms with peers? Will actual classrooms be for elite students? How will students in the future be charged, and receive official credentials?

Join the conversation on Twitter or on Facebook.

GUEST:

  • Kevin Carey – author of The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and The University of Everywhere

MUSIC:

  • “Gne Gne,” Montefiori Cocktail
  • “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody),” Talking Heads
  • “Do You Feel Loved?” U2
  • “Perpetuum Mobile,” Penguin Cafe Orchestra

Lori Mack and Jonathan McNicol contributed to this show.