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Next week’s discussion will focus on an increasingly prominent trend in education – the rise of online courses like Coursera and Khan Academy. One claim that has often been made (although not necessarily by the people running these courses) is that the ability of these courses to offer access to college-level material to the masses at a relatively cheap price is making traditional schools and colleges less relevant, even obsolete — why pay that much for college education and end up with student loan debt when one can simply learn online for a relatively low registration fee?

Readings for this discussion will include the three articles on Education and Technology in your package, articles no. 22-24:
22. Free Education
23. The key to the digital education revolution
24. View to a Skill: The Next Big Education Player?

You may also want to watch this TED talk by Daphne Koller, co-founder on Coursera, where she offers a few arguments for why online courses may work as well or even better.

On the opposing side, Jonathan Rees in Slate warns against putting too much faith in MOOCs as a solution to educational problems.