Phi Beta Cons

The Death of the College Lecture

Could it be that online education — once considered sub-par compared with traditional in-class lectures — is on its way to becoming the norm? This from the Washington Post:

To stage a lecture today, it is no longer necessary for either professor or student to enter a classroom. Instead, they can connect via YouTube or iTunes.

General education lecture courses vary little from one university to the next. Students know they can log on to their laptops and watch the very same lecture — or a better one by a celebrity professor at a rival university.

The spread of online courses has raised the currency of top faculty at Harvard, Yale and MIT, who now lecture to the world. But this transformation also has reduced the lecture to a commodity that can be bought or shared. University leaders view the format with rising unease.

They view it with unease? You don’t say.

Perhaps some top administrators realize that technology is about to undermine the entire economic system of the higher-ed industry — a system that heretofore has supported their ofttimes enormous salaries. If I were in their shoes, I think I might feel some “rising unease” too.

Most Popular

Culture

Ezra Klein’s Intellectual Demagoguery

Ezra Klein wants you to know that he doesn’t think Sam Harris is a racist. “I’m not here to say you’re racist, I don’t think you are,” Klein explains in a two-hour debate with Harris on the latter’s podcast, Waking Up. “We have not called you one.” No, not at all. Klein is telling the truth ... Read More
Education

The Scholarship/Activism Balance — A Rejoinder

The Martin Center recently published an article by sociology professor Fabio Rojas, in which he argued that professors should maintain the right balance between their teaching and scholarship on the one hand, and activism on the other. In today's article, the Center's Jay Schalin pushes back somewhat. Schalin ... Read More
U.S.

The Book Comey Wanted to Write

Making the click-through worthwhile: the book James Comey had wanted to write, Facebook starts to feel useless to some writers, an infamous D.C. city councilman manages to make everything worse, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign finds its wish granted. What Did James Comey’s First Draft of A Higher ... Read More
Film & TV

Pro-Life Feminist

My paisana at the Human Life Review are hosting an event in NYC on Thursday, May 3, at the Sheen Center (18 Bleeker Street) for the airing of director Jim Hanon’s half-hour documentary, Pro-Life Feminist. After the viewing, he’ll join the trio of castmates -- Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, Aimee Murphy, and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Good News for Pompeo

Looks like he's in, as he should be. https://twitter.com/TomCottonAR/status/987050849317867521 But this fight has been a hint of what life will be like for Trump if the Democrats somehow take the Senate -- they'd refuse to confirm anyone for anything. Read More