Ivory towers will fall to digital land grab

A new approach to learning?. Bill Gates has visions of a $400 tablet (wonder if that will end up as £400 in the UK …?)
He suggests that

“Within four or five years, instead of spending money on textbooks,” he is quoted as saying, “they’ll spend a mere $400 or so buying that tablet device and the material they hook up to will all be on the wireless internet with animations, timelines and links to deep information. But they’ll be spending less than they would have on text books and have a dramatically better experience.”

Sutherland, however, has a rather different view point, suggesting that it would be rather like the massive impact Stevenson’s Rocket had an Stage Coach travel (the horses just couldn’t keep up), rather than the more minor change from steam to diesel trains.
He suggests that whereas at present the University owns the knowledge – which is passed to the students, that model will change and …

The “mere” $400 will, of course, be a gateway – not the remote archive it gives the customer access to. Students will be billed for learning material as they are now billed for mobile phone calls. And, for much of the time, they will be buying what was once public domain material, or material freely provided by their institution. The university itself will cease to be a repository of learning, and will become a service provider

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