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ERIC Number: EJ992918
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb-4
Pages: 0
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
For Making the Most of College, It's Still Location, Location, Location
Carlson, Scott
Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb 2013
In late December, a set of articles and essays in "The New York Times" focused on the public library as a place, and on the changing meaning of that place with the rise of electronic books and the demise of brick-and-mortar bookstores like Borders. As librarians "struggle with the task of redefining their roles and responsibilities in a digital age," their libraries are "reinventing themselves as vibrant town squares, showcasing the latest best sellers, lending Kindles loaded with e-books, and offering grass-roots technology-training centers." The conversation about place versus the Internet continues, but now it has grown to encompass the fate of the college campus itself. Online learning and MOOCs (massive open online courses) have arrived, the argument goes, so place does not matter. The campus will become a relic, bound for desertion, like the ruins of Ozymandias. Within the next 50 years, half of American colleges will succumb to mounting financial pressures and shut down. The problem is not student debt or a flaccid hiring market. Big changes are coming because "the college classroom is about to go virtual." Just as with libraries, campuses that are dismal, disconnected, and underutilized as places will suffer, while the ones that are vital will have a shot at succeeding. Colleges will need to find ways--preferably creative and inexpensive--to make their places relevant: Link to local communities. Use those communities as places where students can apply their education to fix problems or enhance strengths. Find the unique characteristics of the local geography, and incorporate them into lessons. Provide spaces where students can connect both intellectually and physically with one another, and with their college work. People who predicted the death of the library made the mistake of thinking that libraries were merely useful for information distribution--an understandable error, given that libraries' central role involved passing around books and journals. But pundits now make the same mistake when thinking about the college campus. If college were merely about the "sale of information," the enterprise would have gone the way of Borders a long time ago.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; Tel: 202-466-1000; Fax: 202-452-1033; e-mail: circulation@chronicle.com; Web site: http://chronicle.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A