Elearning and massive open online courses (MOOCs) represent a fundamental disruption in the continuum of traditional higher education, initiating an unprecedented revolution in education that will induce mayhem before resolving itself into a unique and evolved system.
The new universe of higher education will empower more people across the globe and increase the general level of human intelligence, a democratic system of education that benefits human evolution globally.
In the midst of a turbulent Continental Congress in Philadelphia, 1776, Thomas Jefferson rallied the unconvinced delegates with revolutionary language in the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson took the role of author reluctantly, feeling that more capable authors could state the claims more effectively.
However, nothing matches his brilliance in separating the American people from England and oppression. He declares:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ...That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence
Higher Education Revolution
Higher education needs a revolutionary voice capable of declaring the causes which impel the people to alter or abolish the traditional regime. This voice will emerge soon, and we will recognize and be compelled by the call for revolt.
We do not yet know that voice, but just as the revolution had already begun when Jefferson put it in writing, the battle has ensued in education. New voices will inspire and unite, while at the same time dividing and initiating a bloodletting.
David McCullough, author of 1776, describes the chaos created by the Declaration:
The year 1776, celebrated as the birth year of the nation and for the signing of the Declaration of Independence, was for those who carried the fight for independence forward a year of all-too-few victories, of sustained suffering, disease, hunger, desertion, cowardice, disillusionment, defeat, terrible discouragement, and fear, as they would never forget, but also of phenomenal courage and bedrock devotion to country, and that, too they would never forget.
McCullough reminds us that independence and revolution never come easy, and the people must transcend the chaos to acheive victory: the battles, defeats, fears, and uncertainty. The education revolution requires the valor of individuals willing to pit themselves against an entrenched tradition of education.
The brief film I present here introduces a series I am creating on this revolution: "Higher Education Explosion Series: Part 1 An Introduction to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)." I begin with MOOCs because they are at the front of the battle, disrupting education more than any other movement in history.
I hope you enjoy and engage me in conversation.