It's easy to read this as a higher-ed utopia. That's far from the case. There are bound to be plenty of political battles, turf wars, and arguments about what actually constitutes "best" learning. Many schools we know today will have closed.
We are well aware of the critiques of higher education, and with the cost of college rising faster than health care, it should come as no surprise parents and taxpayers feel they are not getting their money's worth.
The best answer to the debt question is that business schools will have made the appropriate adjustments in curricula, experience-based learning opportunities and theory/practice mix in order to give students the skills needed to command higher compensation premiums at work.
Where is the technology fix or app for skyrocketing textbooks? Where are the barbarians at the gate? Those Silicon Valley warriors that took down Motown, turned my neighborhood Borders into a laundromat, eliminated Kodak AND my camera?
This has the potential to cause the United States' higher education system to become stuck. Debates over MOOCs and other changes to the delivery of education are only symptoms of the underlying battles to come.
I believe we should require that each student enter the library and leave with something in return. Perhaps a book or periodical or journal is checked out -- other times students come and go with only their notebooks and backpacks.
So, what's the solution? Measure nothing and continue to see our college graduates move back home with their parents after school under a mountain of student-loan debt? Know yourself? How about support yourself?
The real reform to higher education is going to occur as the balance between in-person and technology-enhanced education is refined. Successful MOOCs will demonstrate where such refinement is occurring.
Unlike traditional higher education institutions which have to focus on rankings and faculty publication rates or start-up incubators which have to focus on exits and financing, Exosphere's only mandate is to focus on the whole student.
If the 5-4 Voting Rights Act decision lays bare a stark national divide, Fisher v. University of Texas, at 7-1, sends a different message. It serves as an invitation to investigate how racial diversity uniquely improves student outcomes and promotes the public good.
The view that Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg advocates in her new book, Lean In, has been a matter of considerable debate. But her basic point resonates: Women must take charge of their own futures. So, how does her message translate for women now in college?
MOOCs (massive open online courses) is a relatively recent method of educational delivery -- where thousands of people across the world can access college-level courses for free anywhere there is an internet connection -- is being hailed by some as a revolution, and by others as a fad.
Some students are lucky -- they know exactly what they want to do practically from the womb. As for the rest of us, it can be a very lengthy process of self-discovery before you realize what you're meant to do.
For students, the real-world institutional experience -- the socialization, the sheer human contact with peers, faculty, and the institution at large -- can be one of the richest and most rewarding aspects of the college years.