Online education… Stanford University ends the war

Stanford University gives online education a victory

Sometimes the war is over before everyone fighting the battles gets the message.

That’s the lesson that came immediately to mind when I read this story in the Sunday edition of the NYT: Online High Schools Attracting Elite Names.
The lead says if all, as it should: “In June about 30 seniors will graduate from a little-known online high school currently called the Education Program for Gifted Youth. But their diplomas will bear a different name: Stanford Online High School.”
The lesson is simple: if Stanford University sponsors and supports this, it will be rather difficult to continue the war against online education as something that is not, in principle, a valid way to learn. 
The article also mentions online high school education under the leadership of other institutions: Middlebury College, University of Missouri, and University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
The advance of online education is inevitable. 
The hybrid model at residential colleges & universities
Not long from now, online education will be a firm fixture at residential colleges and universities. Students will spend fewer hours in class listening to lectures than they do now listening. Instead, they will learn core educational points on their own time, online. And then meet with professors and other students to review and discuss what they have learned. The hybrid model mixing online and in-person learning will be the new normal by 2020, if not sooner.
The NYT story took me right back to the 2007 “A Vision of Students Today” video by Mike Wesch at Kansas State University. 
Schools that don’t change course instruction rapidly enough will find themselves at a student recruitment disadvantage. Their brand strength will decline.
The war is over. The future is here. Even if the battles will continue.
That’s all for now.

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