In Gates-World, Online Learning = The Only Learning

I really have a hard time taking a prep-school-trained college dropout who made billions by reselling other people’s ideas to be a serious education reformer.  The guy just seems like he couldn’t be more disconnected with reality.  

<snark>I mean, he actually believes Windows is a good OS!</snark> 


Online learning can shrink the cost of higher education by eroding the need for place-based instruction, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said during a presentation at the Technonomy conference in San Francisco last week.

“College, except for the parties, needs to be less place-based,” he said.

Moving more learning activities online can bring down the soaring cost of a college degree.

Though I work in elearning, I have to caution against jumping into this approach. Teaching online is not the same as teaching in the classroom. Not at all, not by a long shot.

We have “place-based” faculty who have no formal teaching education, and it shows. How can we take people who already don’t know how to teach, and toss them into a more challenging environment?

With respect to Bill, it’s not enough to just say “Okay, you’re teaching online now.”