On Borders

I guess I’d ask Stephen the same question he asked on Hapgood a week or two ago about Connectivism — he says people are saying F2F institutions are safe from the effects of the digital, networked revolution — but who exactly is saying these things? Links? 

It seems to me that most people think some portion of learning will go online and some portion will be F2F. Some institutions will close soon (the Borders of HE) some will take longer, some will never close. The actual argument is not around whether this will happen, but how *many* will close, what the new configuration looks like, and what the timeframe of the change will be.

And rightly so! Seeing 20 years into the future is not trivial. But seeing five years into it is much harder. Yet helping our constituencies requires the five year vision more than the twenty year one. The question isn’t whether some bookstores will close — the question is how one avoids being Borders.

I’m not saying there won’t be radical change. My experience is that things don’t change for much, much longer than you think, and then they change rapidly all at once. Tech is definitely a tipping point phenomenon.

But isn’t that what most people are saying? I spent this summer at a conference with hundreds of state college provosts from around the country — and I don’t think I talked to a single one that didn’t realize figuring out how they meshed with online education was the key to their institution’s continued relevance.

So who are these people that think differently about this?

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