Ourselves Online*

Online learning has been very much subject to the “hype cycle”. We’ve gone from doubt about its efficacy as “real education” in the 1990s, to the super-hyped, money-saving, all-access behemoth Massive Open Online Classes offered by commercial and university enterprises today.

There have been a number of critics of the web and its pervasive influence in our society, and those of us who care about pedagogy and effective learning for our students should pay attention to it. In addition to common social concerns about cyber-bullying and internet addiction, are there concerns for education? Do we risk trivializing education by putting college in the same “box” as Amazon and Facebook? Is the web itself creating habits of mind that are antithetical to higher-order education?

Read contrasting view: Jaron Lanier, Does the Digital Classroom Enfeeble the Mind (2010)

Read Article: Larry Sanger, Individual Knowledge in the Internet Age (2010)