Distance Learning vs. Brick and Mortar
Well, not yet.
Just have an idea playing through my head, I'll put it down rough and short here, build it into an essay for the Bastiat Free University site later.
The approach is distance learning versus brick and mortar education.
Right now brick and mortar (B&M) is ahead.
- History- B&M
- Flexibility- distance learning
- Respect earned by grads- B&M
- Ease of learning- distance learning
- Honor amongst peers- B&M
- Established and accepted training format- B&M
- Cost- distance learning
- Diploma as an aid in job search- B&M.
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." - Mark Twain
This is a static view. One factor that influences the balance against distance learning is the effort by distance learning schools to try to copy the B&M educational model. Distance learning by its nature must accomplish the primary task using other methods. B&M will always be better at being B&M.
I have known many students that took the easy path at B&M schools; find the easiest teachers, in the easiest courses, in the simplest discipline. I have known students at both B&M and distance learning schools that had others do required work for them.
Outside of ethics, there are at least two factors that made this a viable strategy for a student. First, jobs acquired after graduation had little to do with what they supposedly studied. They were hired for their degree and grades, and expected training to prepare them for their new job. Second, the reason they went to school was to get a good job, actual learning had little to do with their goal for receiving an education.
There are of course many entries on the other side of the ledger, There are large numbers of students at B&M and distance learning schools that study very hard, do their own work, and apply diligence toward their education. But for most of them it is the same goal that drives them, they want a good job upon graduation. Education, a degree, and a good job have become synonymous. Few students would risk harming their grade point average to take a class just to learn something.
Seeking knowledge, learning new and useful things, is at best secondary in the modern educational equation. A diploma has mainly become a representation that a graduate stuck with a difficult mission until completion. The capstone of a degree's significance is the diploma holder completed their undertaking within a bureaucratic system. Tenacity at a vain pursuit is a perceived as valuable to huge institutions seeking employees.
At this progression; education, degree, good job, the B&M schools are without equal. Distance learning is a dubious second place, and has lesser value because of its lack of ability to compete directly on B&M turf. Traditional brick and mortar colleges graduate employees dedicated to an employer's objectives rather than their own.
Just 30 years ago the plan was simple. Get a degree, get a job at IBM or equivalent, never leave and never be laid off. An employee would be well paid, forced to travel and move, and worked toward retirement after 40 years. That model no longer works. Current Graduates are frequently forced to put government in place of IBM. They are not very well paid, they will work in a painfully degrading bureaucracy, but they can still anticipate a reliable job with a decent retirement. The old choice, joining a large corporation, is an invitation to be laid off as the company shrinks and out sources.
The next 10 to 30 years and beyond are going to be very tough on the newer model. The entire world is likely to go through a series of deep recessions and maybe a greater depression. Government is going to down size and privatize, they will have to. B&M and distance learning schools are therefore graduating workers looking for jobs that are disappearing.
Now that you are depressed, let me cheer you up with some good news.
At Bastiat Free University you can try a third option. Determine for yourself what you will learn. Learning will become an all life experience, and it will be a pleasure. The same technologies that are dismantling bloated industrial age institutions will liberate work. You can start your own business very cheaply, you can re-train frequently for ever better opportunities. The liberating influence of renaissance education will become the new, new thing.
If you pursue your passions, learning is a by product, not a short term goal. You will not spend time, money, and lost opportunity jumping through bureaucratic hoops to get a degree. Take this chance to rediscover the pleasure of self directed learning. You will learn as you pursue your passion, this is the model of the new renaissance education. You will research what you want to know, seek out what is of value to you, and you can use knowledge acquired to create wealth.
"If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin
Your best investment in a wonderful personal future will be an investment in yourself.
If you work at what you love, what you are passionate about, you will never experience a dull job.This is why BFU exists. Liberate yourself from constrictions of the fading industrial age; seek out and discover where meaningful action based on your passion is rewarded. You don't even need Bastiat Free University, we are but one source of many for the knowledge you seek.
"There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love; there's only a scarcity of resolve to make it happen." - Dr. Wayne Dyer
Bastiat Free University is a resource in your life's passion quest. Look around our campus and find educational materials that will cause you to succeed. Register now (no-cost) and relearn to enjoy learning; learn about what you love. Renaissance learning is a pleasure because you get to discover what is important to you, and act on it.
Go to school, do it for yourself this time.