The trouble with metaphors is that they become habits and we keep using them well beyond the point that they are meaningful. I was reading, “”Why Are So Many Students Still Failing Online,” and I thought: that technology-will-fix-eduction bubble is still not quite fully burst… Is it a slow motion bubble? What so striking about the piece is not that it’s so full of common sense, but that the writer, Rob Jenkins, seems so defensive about asserting common sense.
“We can’t teach everything online, nor should we try”? Who would argue with that? The fact that Jenkins feels compelled to defend this idea, even jokingly, is symptomatic of the problems– I’ve called it decadence– in U.S. higher education: common is heretical. There’s no shortage of people who are mature and skilled enough to succeed at online learning. As usual, administrations are focused on milking the cash cow, not education. The bubble is dead; long live the cash cow.