Monday, August 27, 2012

Will the college campus go the way of the Post Office?

   I have blogged many times about how many businesses and organizations are dying or have died because of the digital revolution.  Kodak, Borders, movie theaters, pay phones and phone land lines and now the Post Office seems to be close to being radically changed and diminished.  Bankruptcy of the Post Office seems to be inevitable without a federal bailout.

    With many college students back in class this week I thought it was a good time to talk about a time where going back to class wouldn't be on a college campus but simply logging on to your home computer.  As the cost of college seems to be more and more out of reach for more students the online education revolution seems to be poised to finally take education into the 21st century.  Like most other businesses that have a pre-digital model colleges continue to cling to the campus based model that is becoming cost prohibitive. Over the last 25 years the median family income has increased 150% and the cost of college has increased 400%. Public universities tuition now averages over $21,000.  And that is just tuition.  Book cost for courses can easily approach $1,500.  Book publishers do have DVD's of the course books but you only get those when you buy the hardcover book.
     In the pictures above notice how little change there has been in the college model of instruction from 1900 to 1950 to 2000.  Now look below what a classroom of the future might look like.
      Individualized instruction, self paced and experiential will replace the teacher instructing in front of a classroom of students.  One size fits all will go the way of the black board.  Some of the most innovative models of using the digital capabilities to develop a dramatically different model is occurring with charter schools.  Fox News recently highlighted one school in Yuma, Arizona called Carpe Diem School.  In this model the teacher moves from instructing a class from the front of the classroom to individually assisting students as they move through a self paced digital based model.  The self pacing is a better educational model than a "one fit all" traditional educational model.  

     Unfortunately while most colleges are beginning to determine how to move in this direction the for-profit education sector has moved much faster in this direction.  Last year for-profit colleges received 40% of the federal student loan funds.  This has raised questions about the quality of the education provided by for-profit online colleges where profit (and federal dollars) seems more important than providing students with a quality education. As the New York Times reported about a recent report released by Sen. Tom Harkin,
     " According to the report, which was posted online in advance, taxpayers spent $32 billion in the most recent year on companies that operate for-profit colleges, but the majority of students they enroll leave without a degree, half of those within four months."

     “In this report, you will find overwhelming documentation of exorbitant tuition, aggressive recruiting practices, abysmal student outcomes, taxpayer dollars spent on marketing and pocketed as profit, and regulatory evasion and manipulation,” Mr. Harkin, an Iowa Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said in a statement on Sunday. “These practices are not the exception — they are the norm. They are systemic throughout the industry, with very few individual exceptions.”
     So will colleges move from the campus-based, professorial model of instruction in which they are so firmly entrenched?  How many campus-based colleges will exist at the end of the 21st century?  I would bet that even the campus-based colleges that exist then will look nothing like the campuses we now know.  See what that vision might look like.

From the HoCo Library:
 Classics Club, Jr Discussions and activities about classic stories for ages 7-9; 30 min. Register for each session separately. August selection is Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. Copies are available for checkout at the Central Branch Children's Desk. Registration is required. Register online or by calling 410.313.7880. 08/29/12 6:30 PM Central Branch
Welcome to Flat Stanley's Flatter World the official home of the Flat Stanley Project. Create your very own Flat Stanley, Flat Stella or other flat selves and watch them 
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From HoCo Parks and Rec

 September 8, 2012
Centennial Park South - Boat Launch
5-10 PM
Boat or shoreline anglers can fish for prizes in this catch-and-release event. Youth win trophies and are entered in a random prize drawing. Adults win cash prizes and trophies. Categories include bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie and trout. Fishing license is required for age 16-up; electric motors only, with a minimum of two people per boat. Call 410-313-4623 or visit Tournament Webpage to download a flier and rules. Register on-site or in advance. Advance registrants receive a tournament t-shirt. Check-in begins at 4:30 PM. 
Centennial Park South - Boat Launch/Pier Area
RP9151.101 / 5-13 yrs  / $25 
RP9151.111 / 14 yrs + /  $25

General Information
Event Info
  • Meet at the boat launch/pier area.
  • This is a catch-and-release tournament. All fish will be released after weigh-in.
  • Accommodations will be made for participants with disabilities.  Call 410-313-4623 to make arrangements at least 24 hrs. in advance. 
  • Registration will be accepted on the day of the tournament.
  • Call 410-313-4623 on the day of the tournament for inclement weather information.
  • Complete tournament rules are available at Tournament Webpage 
  • Pre-register to get a tournament t-shirt.
There is a two-person minimum per boat. Electric motors only. Please use lights on boat and check in at the Concession Dock. There is a 40-boat limit.
Bring your own equipment. Bring your own bucket.  If you own a two-way FRS radio, please bring it with you. Periodic tournament announcements such as random prize drawings and time remaining in the tournament will be made via two-way radio.
We welcome donations from local businesses. If you would like to donate a prize for this event, please call 410-313-4623.

Age Categories
Ages 5-13 
Random drawing for prizes.
Trophies will be awarded for the three largest fish in each category: bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie, and trout.
Parent/guardian must accompany children.
Ages 14+
Fish for cash prizes and trophies!
60 anglers (minimum) are needed in order to award all cash prizes. Fish eligible for prizes must meet minimum standards: bass 12", bluegill 6", catfish 10", crappie 6", trout 10".
First and second place in each category receive cash prize and a trophy. Third place in each category receives a trophy.

Fall Outdoor Recreation Programs 
Check out the many nature & outdoor programs offered by Howard County Recreation & Parks this fall! There is something for everyone.   Click here to view our Fall Program Offerings.

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