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DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education Kindle Edition
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He was right. I've long since realized that I could have gotten the same knowledge from a set of books that would fit on a single shelf. Countless others have told me similar stories.
As the author points out, education has become a sacred cow in our society. At the same time the college degree has become the universally accepted measure of how much a person knows. These factors have given school administrators nearly unlimited ability to gouge students, parents and the government, raising tuition at a pace far higher than justified by inflation.
The winners in this multi-trillion dollar scheme are the schools, which have been turned into resorts complete with swimming pools, climbing walls and saunas. The losers are students, especially the economically challenged ones who have trouble paying the ever rising costs.
Fortunately this dismal situation is changing. The author shows how technology is doing an end run around the greedy elitists who have profited from the status quo. Online coursework, self-directed learning, community colleges, and free distribution of textbooks and lectures are all making the dream of higher education available to anyone with the desire and self-discipline to do the necessary work.
As the book points out, the traditional problem with this approach has been the challenge with assessing how much the self-learner actually knows. But this barrier is dissolving, due to alternative methods of proving one's learning such as CLEP tests, professional certifications and acedemic protfolios. The only ones unhappy with these developments are professors and university presidents, who are watching their control over millions of lives and billions of dollars slip away.
The author does a splendid job of showing how this revolution in education is bringing unprecedented opportunities to people of all ages, regardless of their financial status. She also tells the readers how they may access these resources for themselves. Her writing style is decidedly non-elitist, and the information in this book could help virtually anyone to acquire new skills and increase their economic well-being. This work gets my highest recommendation.
But good that books such as this are finally addressing the higher ed crisis.
As a college student, the need for DIY U cannot be understated. However, the author is a tad idealistic in her analysis of the situation. Although she claims to believe in there being no such thing as a free lunch, there are many instances where she talks about free education and the need for it, without taking into account the financial impact on the university.
All of that being said, DIY U was an informative read! I would buy it now if you are planning to though; as suggested by the author, this information may be out-of-date in just a few years.