[lbo-talk] education and media internet-based destruction

Nicholas Roberts nicholas at themediasociety.org
Sun Dec 4 19:50:36 PST 2011

maybe we should Occupy Sesame Street? http://occupysesamestreet.org/

News Corp wants to get in on the supposed 500 billion education market, should be a natural extension for the child marketing professional. Children advertising is the biggest ad market

Internet delivery platforms are the "disruptive technology" which will make the current education situation many times worse. For anyone who worked in commercial mainstream media before the internet, aka newspapers, you'll get the idea.

I haven't thought through the details of comparing the disastrous effect of the Internet on media business models with the internet delivery platform and education "market"

I know that online and distance education is expanding in at least one community college district, while classroom and staff budgets get smashed. Also, at UC they are rolling-out hundreds of new websites and an online teaching delivery system

my guess it will have some pretty simple business rules

1. if you are rich and connected you will get a legacy place in a fancy university where social networks are the premium. You dont actually need to do much, know much, you own stuff and need to be able to detect a lie, find people you can hirethat can trust

2. if you are smart and upper-middle class, you will go to a fancy school on scholarship or a competitive place, you will learn managerial specialties

3. if you are smart and poor you and can kiss-up you can get a scholarship place at a fancy school where you will get massive student debt and become an indentured servant

4. if you are smart and poor and wont or cant kissup, you can choose student debt and also student jobs and you'll be probably going to state or community college, maybe doing post-grad studies (if you make it) to a fancy school

5. if you are poor, work and dont know anyone, you will work several jobs, study online (with maybe a token on-campus visit) and get loads of student debt also

notice how a winner takes all economy is happening i.e. Harvard, MIT, Stanford all release online courses material for free.

the premium is the on-campus experience and the face-to-face social networks

the poor get online social networks, the rich get secret societies, and other elite private networks

Digital Diploma Mills

The Automation of Higher Education

Is the Internet the springboard which will take universities into a new age, or a threat to their existence? Will dotcom degrees create new opportunities for those previously excluded, or lead them into a digital dead-end? From UCLA to Columbia, digital technologies have brought about rapid and sweeping changes in the life of the university—changes which will have momentous effects in the decade ahead.

In the first book-length analysis of the meaning of the Internet for the future of higher education, David Noble cuts through the rhetorical claims that these developments will bring benefits for all. His analysis shows how university teachers are losing control over what they teach, how they teach and for what purpose. It shows how erosion of their intellectual property rights makes academic employment ever less secure. The academic workforce is reconfigured as administrators claim ownership of the course-designs and teaching materials developed by faculty, and try to lower labor costs in the marketing and delivery of courses.


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