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Digital Sharecropping

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Jonathan Rees on how MOOCs allow egocentric professors to drive others out of business while producing lower quality education and the corporate profits that drive the whole thing.

In other words, while a few already well-paid superprofessors get their egos stroked conducting experiments that are doomed to fail, “second- and third-tier universities and colleges, and community colleges” risk closing because Coursera and its ilk have sent higher education price expectations through the floor and systematically devalued everybody else’s work. And they get to do all this while dispensing a produuct that they know is inferior! Jay Gould would be proud.

In the meantime, thanks for nothing, superprofessors. I may not work with a bunch of assholes on my campus, but MOOCmania is starting to look like a pretty good test of whether Academia in general has enough assholes in it in order to destroy itself.

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is probably yes. Or put more charitably, that there’s enough professors clueless about how their actions affect others and an overall missing class consciousness among the professor class.

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