Another Revolution In College Learning

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Did you hear? Our top universities gathered their number-one administrators and professors at a secret conclave and, acting as one, created a new device which will “revolutionize” college learning.

You’ve seen the stories. Even the Washington Post is writing about it: An online college revolution is coming.

Seems the device is made to store the knowledge of any professor and transmit it to any student. Free. There are minor costs in producing the device, but they will be absorbed by the universities themselves. Students themselves pay nothing.

And who’s a student? Anybody. Unlike MOOCS—massive open on-line courses—and other distance-learning schemes, these new devices will be available both on-line and off-line. To anybody who says, “Me, please.” That is what makes them so revolutionary.

Anybody, anywhere, and almost any time may walk into one of thousands of distribution centers and pick up, at zero cost, one of these devices. Or they may download them on line instantly (though sometimes there is a small fee for recently produced on-line devices). Either way, the students take the devices home with them and then access the material.

You do not have to be registered at a university, there is almost no paperwork required (except for signing your name on the registration form at the distribution center; every city has at least one location), and there is no schedule. You do all this at your own pace with nobody ever breathing over your neck. Talk about stress relief!

Imagine! All the world’s knowledge available at your fingertips! There is nothing you cannot learn! Just grab and go. I mean it. Any subject from astronomy to zoology yours for the asking. Just ask! Did I mention it was free?

Yes, sir. It really is just that easy. I’m so breathless because the implications of this new program are huge; incalculable, really. It is impossible to over superlativeize (yes, superlativeize). One professor maps to a potentially infinite number of students. Everything worth knowing will be input into these devices and no student is barred from learning. Even prisons—yes, prisons—will have these devices. These devices are entirely judgement free, making them the first things mankind has ever created that was.

The on-line material you already know about (since you are reading this on an on-line blog), but a few words must be sad about the off-line devices. Universities being what they are, the folks who created these devices has the poor and downtrodden at the top of their minds from the get go. That is why the devices can be accessed at no cost.

But it’s better than that. The devices are supported in every known language. They are made of renewable material and are nigh on indestructible. Unlike Kindles, Nooks and the like, they require no machine to run on: they are entirely self-contained. And, get this, the off-line devices are designed to work without active energy input. They work on the African veldt miles away from any outlet. They use the ambient electromagentic field to operate.

While marvelous, the details can get technical. But the good news is that the devices require no operating instructions: they are that easy to use.

All we have to do to make this revolution happen—imagine how the world will be a better place!—is to get the word out to students. That’s where we need your help: to pass on the word. We don’t want these things to remain a secret and all that learning going to waste.

Hey, student! Look at what you can do! You say you want to learn? Well here is the tool to make that happen. All we need is you to do what you say you wanted to do: learn. Walk into a distribution center today, pick up one of hundreds of thousands of devices, and access the material.

What are you waiting for! Get going!


13 Comments

  1. I wonder how all of this works as a business plan.

    Also interesting reading at WaPo is George Will. In particular, when he gets to the part where USCD lost three cancer researchers who fled to Rice University for higher pay but miraculously was able to afford “money to create a vice chancellorship for equity, diversity and inclusion.” Starting salary: $194K. Of course, diversity is far more important for humanity than cancer research. Heaven only knows we need more trained Diversity Change for Unpacking Oppression.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-subprime-college-educations/2012/06/08/gJQA4fGiOV_story.html

  2. Carnegie would be proud. The only problem is that the government school system is engaged in destroying the basic literacy needed to use these devices.

  3. Sounds wonderful! What’s the download speed of these devices?

    …Oh. Oh, you have to read them. One at a time. Well, that’s OK, I suppose, what kind of internal indexing do they have? …A manual table of contents and index section. I see.

    OK, well, what’s the data transference reliability? …”User-dependent”. Right. Well, how many of these things can you carry and ship at once? …What do you mean, do I have any back problems?

    OK, well at least there has to be guaranteed language compatibility, the coding is in English after all… um… you know, I’m not sure I understand some of what I’m reading here, is there a dictionary or thesaurus feature? –What? I have to actually *go and open* TWO other separate devices?! MANUALLY?!?

    Heck with this, I’m goin’ back to my Kindle. Recharge reqs aren’t *that* much of a pain.

    (Addendum: The above was written in jocular appreciation of the original metaphor for the sake of extending the joke. I myself am a huge fan of hardcopy books over other forms of knowledge transmission. But if books were all we needed for learning, the Church wouldn’t have put such a big emphasis on Tradition and proper catechism.)

  4. This is too easy. To whom will coed’s go to negotiate a higher grade? This lack of personal attention, making things free, is the main problem of our society. Whenever things are free, things get abused.

    For example, I lost one of those free devices and stonewalled the distribution center on paying for it. If I go back now, I am virtually sure the local cops will have an unpleasant conversation on why I have not paid my debts.

    This is true. It has been so long that I am afraid to go back.

  5. “The only problem is that the government school system is engaged in destroying the basic literacy needed to use these devices.”

    Yeah.

    Recently I came to the insight as to why the Vandals destroyed writing, or at least why I would. I shared this with my erstwhile diplomat of sorts Brother. He responded that the savagery of the Mongols from whom we still are recovering is matched by the savagery of the Intellectuals from whom we may never recover.

    I wonder how a Bayesnian would quantify the above unqualified sentiment?

  6. One little problem. Most college professors can’t write in a manner that is redable and comprehensible. We used to joke about the manuals provided by IBM. You could read the manual and you still wouldn’t have any idea what was going on. They were just confusing.

    It’s like when I decieded to try the Linux operating system and bought a version around 2000. I spent several hours trying to install Linux on my computer. The manual was worthless and I finally gave up.

  7. Unfortunately, who decides what “professors'” knowledge is put on the devices and WHAT gets transferred? Strictly course work or all the biases and BS we carry around with us associated with the knowledge?!?!?!

  8. VXXC,

    I am reading a very interesting book called Muhammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy. Based on the latest archaeology and literature along with historic differences in interpretation of older information it comes to a quite difference conclusion to what most of us were taught. The barbarians did NOT destroy what was left of the Roman Empire!!!

    It is written by Emmet Scott and, even if you do not accept his conclusions, is an interesting read on how our history becomes set.

  9. “There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.”
    ― Andrew Carnegie

  10. TANSTAAFL!

    Such revolution is either:
    A. total b.s. (i.e. NOT “free” at all);
    B. general, or dubious, knowledge of no great worth (i.e. Wikipedia), or; C. a modern-day Napster … i.e. THEFT … and, as such, will not last.

    You bet on the revolution of near-perfect, “free”, distribution of high-value knowledge; and I’ll bet on TANSTAAFL.

  11. I’ve think I’ve come with the perfect acronym: Build-in Orderly Organized Knowledge (BOOK).

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