Michael D. Smith links the changes in media and technology to the upcoming changes in higher education! I have been teaching in Communication, Media and Technology for over 23 years, gleefully making jokes about LPs, cassettes, Atari games, early Netflix red envelopes, musicians writing by the song instead of albums, etc. etc.. There’s about a million examples of obsolete technology of all kinds that were once fixtures in our lives. Half of them are in my basement now! But where will we store the obsolete institutions that get steamrolled by the combination of a recession, massive unemployment, and the social distancing and deadly threat for some of the pandemic?
Smith answers the question pretty well. (Not about the storage; for that I’m just going to need a bigger basement) but about the comparison. Our post-secondary institutions encompass a VERY wide range of types, sizes, and fiscal stabilities. In his article he shows that the trend is underway, WorldlyXP shows that the trend is getting broader and deeper. There are, we expect, thousands of students in the world right now questioning their pre-conceived notion that college should be next on their horizon. And we will be there in its stead to provide the most important things that really come out of the first few months, (or years) of college:
The first time you see yourself in comparison to your peers can be shocking. Who is on top of things, sharp, paying attention, seemingly unperturbed by length assignments and readings – and why isn’t that me? We’ll help you find out what YOU could be. It doesn’t have to be that. There are more than one version of success.
What careers am I interested in or well-suited for?
Four years from now? Good luck. Even accountants might be obsolete. But there are approaches to preparing to work, survive, and be satisfied in the work you end up doing. We’ll show you.
What do I need to learn to survive, and who will me that?
Personal finance, time management, critical thinking, writing for a specific purpose (not term papers). We will tell you and show you, and help you get better. Regular school doesn’t, for some reason.
What else will I need to compete and be ready?
Examples of what you can do. People who can attest to that. Ways to talk about and show your talents and skills. It’s all up to you, but we can help.
So, do you also need: Parties, debt, dorms, cafeterias, note taking, cold pizza, warm beer, term papers, roommates, college activities, a library, footnotes, footnotes, and footnotes, and more? Maybe – if you can afford it and do it all without feeling guilty or counting how much each day is really costing you – in today’s dollars (and tomorrow’s) if you consider loans! Let me tell you, it’s a shocking sum.
Maybe the time is right; the changes will cause a shift in media, technology, and education, and we will move to a more efficient way to do all of this. I am sure that Michael Smith will still have a job at Carnegie Mellon and most of the biggest research universities in the country will continue to survive (the government and military really depend on them for lots and lots of research don’t forget, shhhh). But other smaller schools will be like turntables and boomboxes, tossed into landfills.
Maybe someday they’ll be resurrected as a boutique thing?