In a discussion of the affect of technological change on higher education, Clayton Christensen, “Mr. Innovation” at the Harvard B-school prognosticates that half of all US universities will be defunct in 15 years. His observations can be seen in the first 7:30 of the video below.
An interesting analysis, but he might misidentify the “technological core” of higher education. Despite his assertion, it probably isn’t the new technologies that edX and their ilk have unleashed. Rather it is the ability to engage learners in structured exploration of a topic.
If that is the case, colleges and universities shouldn’t fight technology with technology. Instead, they should incorporate technology into the larger college experience. Among other things, this means never building another lecture hall ever again. Faculty who still try to get by with one-way lectures are now competing with Nobel laureates who can–through MOOCs– provide that same model at a fraction of the cost.