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Society - Written by on Thursday, February 4, 2010 16:47 - 1 Comment

Don Tapscott
Innovating the 21st-century university

In the current issue of EDUCAUSE Review, Anthony D. Williams and I have a 6,000-word essay discussing the urgent issues facing universities, that left unresolved, would see intuitions of higher learning going into a death spiral akin to what we see happening to encyclopedias, newspapers, and music record labels.

For fifteen years, we’ve been arguing that the digital revolution will challenge many fundamental aspects of the university. We have not been alone. In 1997, none other than Peter Drucker predicted that big university campuses would be “relics” within thirty years.

Universities are losing their grip on higher learning as the Internet is, inexorably, becoming the dominant infrastructure for knowledge — both as a container and as a global platform for knowledge exchange between people — and as a new generation of students requires a very different model of higher education. The transformation of the university is not just a good idea; It is an imperative, and evidence is mounting that the consequences of further delay may be dire.

Read the full essay here.



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Fadi Saba
Feb 9, 2010 23:45

First of all, the ‘trend’ does seem interesting. It is something I hope does not rid society of the university campus. The actual, physical, face-to-face, tangible campus is critical for global understanding. Yes, the world is within a click of a button ~~ but that is the virtual and surreal.

In reality, for people to have better understanding and respect for one another; and for people to be exposed to global issues and movements, there is a need for a campus. For example, the Free Speech Movement of the late 1960′s would not have taken place, I feel, had Mario Savio (the leader) been studying online and not in person with others on campus. I do feel online higher education has a place. However, I certainly hope it would not dissolve the campus universities.

Now available in paperback!
Don Tapscott and Anthony D. William's latest collaboration, Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet. Learn more.

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