As a follow up to an earlier blog post about online education, I found supplemental information for your review. A Harvard Business Review blog post describes how online education has evolved from its beginnings, and what the trend will be for online education in the future.
The article discusses the idea of massively open online education. This means that education would be open to anyone in the world. Instead of a top notch instructor teaching 150 students, he or she could teach to over 150,000 in an online setting.
One advantage is that no children would be left out of education. Children with disabilities many moons ago could not go to school because they were physically unable to attend, for example.
With the positive, I see a potential issue for us in small towns to deal with. On one side of the equation, students can attend top notch universities and get a degree without leaving town. The other side of the equation is that other students from all over the world will be educated literally overnight. The downside of this for us small town folk is that our jobs could be outsourced anywhere in the world where lower wages exist.
Outsourcing is clearly taking place. Below are statistics from “statistics brain” to provide you with what we are dealing with:
- Over 2.2 million U.S jobs were outsourced in 2011 alone.
- 53 percent of manufacturing companies outsource.
- 44 percent of companies outsource to reduce costs.
- Our jobs are going to India, Indonesia, and China.
What does this mean to us? It means we have to stay on top of the learning curve. Higher quality of education for students of all ages. And for some, going beyond high schools, and getting more students into either specialized programs or fields of graduate study. This means small businesses must be innovative, client centered, and deliver new solutions.
The world is now knocking at our door steps into our community. We better find a way to be more competitive, or we will be left in the dust..