If you haven’t taken the opportunity to read “Stop Stealing Dreams” by Seth Godin, please do so. It was the subject of my previous post, in which you will find links to the content online.
I just wanted to make one more post about his work because it ties in with my own research into the similarities between education and journalism.
In Godin’s own words:
Ten years ago, I was speaking to newspaper executives about the digital future. They were blithely ignorant of how Craigslist would wipe out the vast majority of their profits. They were disdainful of digital delivery. They were in love with the magic of paper.
In just ten years, it all changed. No interested observer is sanguine about the future of the newspaper, and the way news is delivered has fundamentally changed—after a hundred years of stability, the core business model of the newspaper is gone.
College is in that very same spot today.
Schools are facing the giant crash of education loans and the inability of the typical student to justify a full-fare education. It will be just a few years after most courses are available digitally—maybe not from the school itself, but calculus is calculus. At that point, either schools will be labels, brand names that connote something to a hiring manager, or they will be tribal organizers, institutions that create teams, connections, and guilds. Just as being part of the Harvard Crimsonor Lampoon is a connection you will carry around for life, some schools will deliver this on a larger scale.
I guess it’s fair to say that the business of higher education is going to change as much in the next decade as newspapers did in the prior one.
Bravo, Mr. Godin. And I think we can extrapolate this idea even further by saying that the crisis isn’t just going to hit higher education; our local K-12 schools are or will be struggling with the choice between traditional and modern very soon. School administrators and educators would be wise to look outside their brick walls and make a concerted effort to address these changes now, instead of waiting for the wave to hit.