During the last few months, I've discussed the often loud, sometimes angry debate over whether students should receive real college credit for finishing a MOOC. But what if such credit were offered, but no one decided to take it?
As long as educators remember that students are flesh-and-blood individuals with unique needs and aspirations, they can animate the best elements of modern technology with the human-to-human connections that have sustained education for thousands of years.
There are good reasons to be skeptical of machines grading essays. Their algorithms can't distinguish between arguments supported by factual evidence and cases built on canards. They're reliable enough to dock points for clichés, but they're not subtle enough to reward subtlety.
Other than standard high school mathematics, the only real prerequisite for my course is knowing how to learn. That ability is, as Sir Ken and many others have observed, the one thing above all that schools should be developing in their students.
The national public is thirsty for simple solutions to the escalating costs of going to school. The global public is in search of in-country means of providing higher learning for their exploding middle class.