This article by Discovery News notes that a Masters Degree can be obtained from Georgia Tech in cooperation with an online educational organization called Udacity for a mere cost of $7,000. The cost is about $40,000 at Georgia Tech’s physical campus according to the article. In other news Ron Paul recently released a home-school curriculum.
Education is changing. To summarize the statistics public school is garbage and private school is helpful as long as you can afford it, which most people can’t. That’s where technology comes in. Technology dramatically lowers these costs. The following is an example of a course offered at Udacity:
The video highlights that these courses can do things regular class courses can’t. A field trip everyday is impossible for the normal amount of resources in a normal class. Furthermore in a normal class it is extremely burdensome, even impossible, for a teacher to reteach the lesson over and over to every student. With video-based classes, however, the student is free to repeat as many times as necessary and go to the teacher much less often, enabling more students per teacher and thereby decreasing cost per class per student, given a teacher at a particular pay grade.
Homeschooling, the OER movement, MOOCs, and other technologies are more efficient either by leading to better outcomes or by leading to outcomes more cost-effectively or both. As such these technologies will eventually displace older technologies. Unfortunately because of political obstacles these technologies will take longer than they would in a free market to displace the older ones. As a policy I would advocate elimination of the Department of Education as well as all of those burdensome regulations relative to teacher certification, licensing of universities, and other government interference. Insert a quick plug for anarchism here while observing the light at the end of the tunnel.
Here’s a crazy experiment: Peer to Peer University?