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Remote Learning: Intriguing Options Emerge
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Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
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8/14/2014 | 9:49:07 AM
Starting Young
Even before they get to university, younger students are being exposed to online learning. K-12 school districts offer virtual education, and my daughter's Central Florida school district requires all students to take/pass one online class in ninth grade. 
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
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8/14/2014 | 1:32:14 PM
MOOC vs. Old School
"The traditional four-year on-campus experience will be viewed as a singular luxury." I am all for MOOCs for some students and especially for adults to enhance skills without doing an entire graduate program. Interesting examples here in that regard, Andrew.But I find the idea that 4 years of undergrad college will be a luxury sad. College is an important social development time, not just a set of classes.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
8/14/2014 | 1:49:41 PM
Re: MOOC vs. Old School
I agree, it's sad the way things have gone. I've read that the total student loan debt in the US now stands at about a Trillion Dollars. That's Trillion with a "T". There was an article in CNN written by a 57-year-old who still owes $152K on her loan. I wonder, with education largely consisting of a lecture hall classes of 100+ students, where is all that money going?


Many of the best jobs today are, of course, in IT, and I meet so many people who are largely self-taught. As for MOOC, that might be OK for mature people who have been through work or college, but I doubt that many HS grads have the kind of disciple it takes to succeed in that arena.

I wonder where this will end?
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
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8/14/2014 | 3:10:37 PM
Re: MOOC vs. Old School
The answer to the student loan problem is to make these loans dischargeable under bankruptcy proceedings. At that point, lenders will begin to treat them like any other loan.

Forwarding someone $200,000 for med school makes sense. $200K to get a degree in literature or history? Not so much. This is not to say a degree in literature does not have value, only that actuarial logic dictates that one should get that degree on one's own dime, not borrowed money, based on expected future earning potential.
Andrew Binstock
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Andrew Binstock,
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8/14/2014 | 3:10:37 PM
No 4-year college?
Laurie: Quite agreed. The loss of the maturity gained by interaction with peers and teachers is a significant issue. Not sure quite how that will be addressed, although it wouldn't surprise me that if the distance learning experience becomes more common, ways of getting students together in person and/or with instructors will emerge. Essentially, re-creating the college experience with a remote component and a significantly reduced tuition. 
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/14/2014 | 6:59:49 PM
Re: MOOC vs. Old School
I wonder whether it would make sense to tie loans to specific industry job data. Upstart.com's model is an interesting one. I'm still not sure how I feel about it.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
8/15/2014 | 12:11:14 PM
Re: MOOC vs. Old School
I believe universities still whole a great value.  As we all know, it is become much more difficult to afford to go into one. I believe there should be more alternatives such improving technical schools, making remote learning even better to what it is now.  Not all online schools give out college credit.
stotheco
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stotheco,
User Rank: Ninja
8/17/2014 | 2:29:09 PM
Re: MOOC vs. Old School
I checked out Upstart.com and it's interesting. I'm on the same boat, because I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing. Perhaps look at it as a tool of sorts, I guess.
stotheco
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stotheco,
User Rank: Ninja
8/17/2014 | 2:30:56 PM
Re: MOOC vs. Old School
You're right, Pedro. I for one am taking some short courses online. Most will not be credited, but I have to say that I am learning a lot as it is, and am definitively glad that there is an option to study without having to go to school. I work full time, so that goes without saying that remote education made it possible for me to "go back" to school. It won't replace universities, of course, but it is a great option.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
8/21/2014 | 10:13:28 AM
Re: MOOC vs. Old School
I have noticed that too. There are great tutorials online to help you learn a specific tas(lynda.com) or Oreilly Ebooks.  I think for some courses the internet is great, while others there is still a need to attend class and listen to a lecture.     


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