NITLE Shared Academics: Cultural Factors Shaping "Crisis" Conversation in Higher Education
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NITLE Shared Academics: Cultural Factors Shaping "Crisis" Conversation in Higher Education

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The current conversations about crisis in education - and the equally contentious debates about how to solve said crises - do not occur in a vacuum: both the problems and the solutions are the product ...

The current conversations about crisis in education - and the equally contentious debates about how to solve said crises - do not occur in a vacuum: both the problems and the solutions are the product of a dynamic cultural, economic, and political context. How do faculty, staff, and administrators navigate this changing environment in a way that honors the mission of their institutions and the wider values of post-secondary education? Sean Johnson Andrews, assistant professor of cultural studies in the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences at Columbia College Chicago, examined hese issues with members of the NITLE Network on February 4, 2014.

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NITLE Shared Academics: Cultural Factors Shaping "Crisis" Conversation in Higher Education Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Cultural Factors Shaping “Crisis” Conversations in U.S. Higher Education Sean Johnson Andrews Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies Columbia College Chicago
  • 2. CRISIS!
  • 3. CRISIS!  Tuition rising
  • 4. CRISIS!  Tuition rising  Public funding falling
  • 5. CRISIS!  Tuition rising  Public funding falling  Student Loans at an all time high ($1 trillion in aggregate)
  • 6. CRISIS!  Tuition rising  Public funding falling  Student Loans at an all time high ($1 trillion in aggregate)  Unemployment for college grads at an all time high
  • 7. CRISIS!  Tuition rising  Public funding falling  Student Loans at an all time high ($1 trillion in aggregate)  Unemployment for college grads at an all time high  BA Premium is still high
  • 8. CRISIS!  Tuition rising  Public funding falling  Student Loans at an all time high ($1 trillion in aggregate)  Unemployment for college grads at an all time high  BA Premium is still high  Department of Labor predicts leading jobs of 2020 will require no more than an Associate
  • 9. CRISIS!  Tuition rising  Public funding falling  Student Loans at an all time high ($1 trillion in aggregate)  Unemployment for college grads at an all time high  BA Premium is still high  Department of Labor predicts leading jobs of 2020 will require no more than an Associate  College Learning Assessment questions value of degree  Academically Adrift
  • 10. CRISIS!  Tuition rising  Public funding falling  Student Loans at an all time high ($1 trillion in aggregate)  Unemployment for college grads at an all time high  BA Premium is still high  Department of Labor predicts leading jobs of 2020 will require no more than an Associate  College Learning Assessment questions value of degree  Academically Adrift  Disruption (a la Christensen)
  • 11. Disruption  Christensen discusses college degree as a commodity  Disk drive, steam shovel, milkshakes, BA
  • 12. Disruption  Christensen discusses college degree as a commodity  Disk drive, steam shovel, milkshakes, BA  Disruption occurs when a seemingly inferior product according to the dominant market meets the demands of a niche market that doesn’t care about those qualities.
  • 13. Disruption  Christensen discusses college degree as a commodity  Disk drive, steam shovel, milkshakes, BA  Disruption occurs when a seemingly inferior product according to the dominant market meets the demands of a niche market that doesn’t care about those qualities.  In meeting this niche market, the disruptive industry ends up developing a successor to the dominant product, eventually positioning itself to meet a significant portion of the dominant demand, thereby unseating the incumbent producers.
  • 14. MOOC Mania
  • 15. MOOC Mania  edX press release: "single biggest change in education since the printing press."
  • 16. MOOC Mania  edX press release: "single biggest change in education since the printing press."  Thomas Friedman: “the college education revolution.”
  • 17. MOOC Mania  edX press release: "single biggest change in education since the printing press."  Thomas Friedman: “the college education revolution.”  David Brooks: “The campus tsunami.”
  • 18. MOOC Mania  edX press release: "single biggest change in education since the printing press."  Thomas Friedman: “the college education revolution.”  David Brooks: “The campus tsunami.”  UVA President dismissed by board in favor of a leader who could institute a “much faster pace of change.”
  • 19. MOOC Mania  edX press release: "single biggest change in education since the printing press."  Thomas Friedman: “the college education revolution.”  David Brooks: “The campus tsunami.”  UVA President dismissed by board in favor of a leader who could institute a “much faster pace of change.”  Less than two months after Coursera launched
  • 20. MOOC Mania  edX press release: "single biggest change in education since the printing press."  Thomas Friedman: “the college education revolution.”  David Brooks: “The campus tsunami.”  UVA President dismissed by board in favor of a leader who could institute a “much faster pace of change.”  Less than two months after Coursera launched  Shortly after she was reinstated, they discovered there were already professors working with Coursera @UVA
  • 21. MOOC Mania  edX press release: "single biggest change in education since the printing press."  Thomas Friedman: “the college education revolution.”  David Brooks: “The campus tsunami.”  UVA President dismissed by board in favor of a leader who could institute a “much faster pace of change.”  Less than two months after Coursera launched  Shortly after she was reinstated, they discovered there were already professors working with Coursera @UVA  Etc..
  • 22.  MOOCs mentioned several times as positive development
  • 23.  MOOCs mentioned several times as positive development  Coursera specifically mentioned, twice
  • 24.  MOOCs mentioned several times as positive development  Coursera specifically mentioned, twice  More important: change in how credits are awarded – “learning not seat time.”
  • 25.  MOOCs mentioned several times as positive development  Coursera specifically mentioned, twice  More important: change in how credits are awarded – “learning not seat time.”  Abandon the Carnegie credits  “Datapalooza” – Like Obama’s election team.
  • 26.  MOOCs mentioned several times as positive development  Coursera specifically mentioned, twice  More important: change in how credits are awarded – “learning not seat time.”  Abandon the Carnegie credits  “Datapalooza” – Like Obama’s election team.  In line with “Race to the Top”
  • 27.  MOOCs mentioned several times as positive development  Coursera specifically mentioned, twice  More important: change in how credits are awarded – “learning not seat time.”  Abandon the Carnegie credits  “Datapalooza” – Like Obama’s election team.  In line with “Race to the Top”  As Diane Ravitch notes, “The first time in history that the U.S. Department of Education designed programs with the intent of stimulating investors to create for-profit ventures in American Education.”
  • 28. Connection to K-12, Venture Capital projects
  • 29. Connection to K-12, Venture Capital projects  Florida - Now mandatory that all students must take at least one class online before graduating high school.
  • 30. Connection to K-12, Venture Capital projects  Florida - Now mandatory that all students must take at least one class online before graduating high school.  Led by Jeb Bush
  • 31. Connection to K-12, Venture Capital projects  Florida - Now mandatory that all students must take at least one class online before graduating high school.  Led by Jeb Bush  Supporter of Academic Partnerships
  • 32. Connection to K-12, Venture Capital projects  Florida - Now mandatory that all students must take at least one class online before graduating high school.  Led by Jeb Bush  Supporter of Academic Partnerships  Virtual Charter systems in FL, Colorado, Virginia, and Texas among other states.
  • 33. Connection to K-12, Venture Capital projects  Florida - Now mandatory that all students must take at least one class online before graduating high school.  Led by Jeb Bush  Supporter of Academic Partnerships  Virtual Charter systems in FL, Colorado, Virginia, and Texas among other states.  Teacher:student can be as high as 1:137
  • 34. Connection to K-12, Venture Capital projects  Florida - Now mandatory that all students must take at least one class online before graduating high school.  Led by Jeb Bush  Supporter of Academic Partnerships  Virtual Charter systems in FL, Colorado, Virginia, and Texas among other states.  Teacher:student can be as high as 1:137  Widespread graft, little oversight.
  • 35. Datapalooza!
  • 36. Competency based learning  Southern New Hamshire University  Predicted to make $200 million in 2013-2014  Fully online  Governor’s State University  Amendment written in 2005 allowing them to grant degree based on competency instead of credit hour.
  • 37. “The key question, about technological response to a need, is less a question about the need itself than about its place in an existing social formation. A need which corresponds with the priorities of the real decisionmaking groups will, obviously, more quickly attract the investment of resources and the official permission, approval or encouragement on which a working technology, as distinct from available technical devices, depends.” Raymond Williams, Television:Technology and Cultural Form
  • 38. “Solutionism”  “An unhealthy preoccupation with sexy, monumental, and narrow-minded solutions [. . .] to problems that are extremely complex, fluid, and contentious.”  “How problems are composed matters every bit as how they are solved.”
  • 39. Social Needs : Social Formation
  • 40. Social Needs : Social Formation  Myth of the technological sublime (topic of previous seminars)
  • 41. Social Needs : Social Formation  Myth of the technological sublime (topic of previous seminars)  Evgeny Morozov calls this “Solutionism”
  • 42. Social Needs : Social Formation  Myth of the technological sublime (topic of previous seminars)  Evgeny Morozov calls this “Solutionism”  What are the social needs?
  • 43. Social Needs : Social Formation  Myth of the technological sublime (topic of previous seminars)  Evgeny Morozov calls this “Solutionism”  What are the social needs?  How do these relate to the broader social formation?
  • 44. Social Needs : Social Formation  Myth of the technological sublime (topic of previous seminars)  Evgeny Morozov calls this “Solutionism”  What are the social needs?  How do these relate to the broader social formation?  Broader context…CRISIS!
  • 45. Social Needs : Social Formation  Myth of the technological sublime (topic of previous seminars)  Evgeny Morozov calls this “Solutionism”  What are the social needs?  How do these relate to the broader social formation?  Broader context…CRISIS!  “the real decision-making groups”
  • 46. Social Needs : Social Formation  Myth of the technological sublime (topic of previous seminars)  Evgeny Morozov calls this “Solutionism”  What are the social needs?  How do these relate to the broader social formation?  Broader context…CRISIS!  “the real decision-making groups”  Politicians: President Obama, Governors of California, Florida, etc.
  • 47. Social Needs : Social Formation  Myth of the technological sublime (topic of previous seminars)  Evgeny Morozov calls this “Solutionism”  What are the social needs?  How do these relate to the broader social formation?  Broader context…CRISIS!  “the real decision-making groups”  Politicians: President Obama, Governors of California, Florida, etc.  Foundations: Especially Gates, Mellon, and MacArthur
  • 48. Social Needs : Social Formation  Myth of the technological sublime (topic of previous seminars)  Evgeny Morozov calls this “Solutionism”  What are the social needs?  How do these relate to the broader social formation?  Broader context…CRISIS!  “the real decision-making groups”  Politicians: President Obama, Governors of California, Florida, etc.  Foundations: Especially Gates, Mellon, and MacArthur  Venture Capitalists: Largely silicon valley outfits
  • 49. Social Needs : Social Formation  Myth of the technological sublime (topic of previous seminars)  Evgeny Morozov calls this “Solutionism”  What are the social needs?  How do these relate to the broader social formation?  Broader context…CRISIS!  “the real decision-making groups”  Politicians: President Obama, Governors of California, Florida, etc.  Foundations: Especially Gates, Mellon, and MacArthur  Venture Capitalists: Largely silicon valley outfits  Ed tech corporations: Pearson, Kaplan, etc.
  • 50. Social Needs : Social Formation  Myth of the technological sublime (topic of previous seminars)  Evgeny Morozov calls this “Solutionism”  What are the social needs?  How do these relate to the broader social formation?  Broader context…CRISIS!  “the real decision-making groups”  Politicians: President Obama, Governors of California, Florida, etc.  Foundations: Especially Gates, Mellon, and MacArthur  Venture Capitalists: Largely silicon valley outfits  Ed tech corporations: Pearson, Kaplan, etc.  LOTS of TAXPAYER money subsidizing higher ed.
  • 51. The Social Needs fulfilled by Higher Education
  • 52. The Social Needs fulfilled by Higher Education  Place where we develop critical, engaged citizens of the world.
  • 53. The Social Needs fulfilled by Higher Education  Place where we develop critical, engaged citizens of the world.  One of the few common rights of passage for middle class
  • 54. The Social Needs fulfilled by Higher Education  Place where we develop critical, engaged citizens of the world.  One of the few common rights of passage for middle class  Ideological support for the meritocracy (State of the Union)
  • 55. The Social Needs fulfilled by Higher Education  Place where we develop critical, engaged citizens of the world.  One of the few common rights of passage for middle class  Ideological support for the meritocracy (State of the Union)  Institutions authorized with credentialing middle class workers and skilled labor force.
  • 56. The Social Needs fulfilled by Higher Education  Place where we develop critical, engaged citizens of the world.  One of the few common rights of passage for middle class  Ideological support for the meritocracy (State of the Union)  Institutions authorized with credentialing middle class workers and skilled labor force.  Accreditation makes it possible for students to get Federally subsidized student loans, Pell Grants, etc.  .
  • 57. The Social Needs fulfilled by Higher Education  Place where we develop critical, engaged citizens of the world.  One of the few common rights of passage for middle class  Ideological support for the meritocracy (State of the Union)  Institutions authorized with credentialing middle class workers and skilled labor force.  Accreditation makes it possible for students to get Federally subsidized student loans, Pell Grants, etc.  Is a place where most of the basic research is done which fuels technological innovation (e.g. MOOCs, Google, etc.)
  • 58. The Social Needs fulfilled by Higher Education  Place where we develop critical, engaged citizens of the world.  One of the few common rights of passage for middle class  Ideological support for the meritocracy (State of the Union)  Institutions authorized with credentialing middle class workers and skilled labor force.  Accreditation makes it possible for students to get Federally subsidized student loans, Pell Grants, etc.  Is a place where most of the basic research is done which fuels technological innovation (e.g. MOOCs, Google, etc.)  An efficient way of delivering the support resources needed for legally and legitimately accomplishing both of the above.  UNBUNDLING – only buying the parts you want.
  • 59. The Social Needs fulfilled by Higher Education  Place where we develop critical, engaged citizens of the world.  One of the few common rights of passage for middle class  Ideological support for the meritocracy (State of the Union)  Institutions authorized with credentialing middle class workers and skilled labor force.  Accreditation makes it possible for students to get Federally subsidized student loans, Pell Grants, etc.  Is a place where most of the basic research is done which fuels technological innovation (e.g. MOOCs, Google, etc.)
  • 60. The Social Needs fulfilled by Higher Education  Place where we develop critical, engaged citizens of the world.  One of the few common rights of passage for middle class  Ideological support for the meritocracy (State of the Union)  Institutions authorized with credentialing middle class workers and skilled labor force.  Accreditation makes it possible for students to get Federally subsidized student loans, Pell Grants, etc.
  • 61. The Social Needs fulfilled by Higher Education  One of the few common rights of passage for middle class  Ideological support for the meritocracy (State of the Union)  Institutions authorized with credentialing middle class workers and skilled labor force.  Accreditation makes it possible for students to get Federally subsidized student loans, Pell Grants, etc.
  • 62. MOOCs as Solutionism “The quick fixes it peddles do not exist in a political vacuum. In promising almost immediate and much cheaper results, they can easily undermine support for more ambitious, more intellectually stimulating, but also more demanding reform projects.”
  • 63. Which problems?
  • 64. Wages stagnant…more loans
  • 65. Taxes vs. inequality
  • 66. The Social Needs fulfilled by Higher Education  One of the few common rights of passage for middle class  Ideological support for the meritocracy (State of the Union)  Institutions authorized with credentialing middle class workers and skilled labor force.  Accreditation makes it possible for students to get Federally subsidized student loans, Pell Grants, etc.
  • 67. Middle Class Rite of Passage …of relatively recent vintage.
  • 68. Middle Class rite of passage  “alarming evidence in the 1860s that college enrollments were in decline in the United States”
  • 69. Middle Class rite of passage  “alarming evidence in the 1860s that college enrollments were in decline in the United States”  “the existence of an easy professional school option was one of the reasons why”
  • 70. Middle Class rite of passage  “alarming evidence in the 1860s that college enrollments were in decline in the United States”  “the existence of an easy professional school option was one of the reasons why”  “bachelor’s degree was not required for admission to the Harvard Medical School until 1900.”
  • 71. Charles William Eliot
  • 72. Charles William Eliot  T.S. Eliot’s cousin
  • 73. Charles William Eliot  T.S. Eliot’s cousin  President of Harvard from 1869-1909
  • 74. Charles William Eliot  T.S. Eliot’s cousin  President of Harvard from 1869-1909  Instituted admissions standards and requirements for schools of Medicine, Law, Divinity and Science
  • 75. Charles William Eliot  T.S. Eliot’s cousin  President of Harvard from 1869-1909  Instituted admissions standards and requirements for schools of Medicine, Law, Divinity and Science  “Erected a hurdle on what had been a fairly smooth path, compelling future doctors and lawyers to commit to four years of liberal arts education before entering what are, essentially, professional certification programs.”
  • 76. Effect…
  • 77. Effect…  More than doubled college enrollment in 30 years.
  • 78. Effect…  More than doubled college enrollment in 30 years.  In 1870, one out of every sixty men between eighteen and twenty-one years old was a college student; by 1900, one out of every twenty-five was in college
  • 79. Effect…  More than doubled college enrollment in 30 years.  In 1870, one out of every sixty men between eighteen and twenty-one years old was a college student; by 1900, one out of every twenty-five was in college
  • 80. Effect…  More than doubled college enrollment in 30 years.  In 1870, one out of every sixty men between eighteen and twenty-one years old was a college student; by 1900, one out of every twenty-five was in college  Separated “liberal arts” from “vocational” post-graduate schools
  • 81. Effect…  More than doubled college enrollment in 30 years.  In 1870, one out of every sixty men between eighteen and twenty-one years old was a college student; by 1900, one out of every twenty-five was in college  Separated “liberal arts” from “vocational” post-graduate schools  Made BA a rite of passage for all professionals
  • 82. Effect…  More than doubled college enrollment in 30 years.  In 1870, one out of every sixty men between eighteen and twenty-one years old was a college student; by 1900, one out of every twenty-five was in college  Separated “liberal arts” from “vocational” post-graduate schools  Made BA a rite of passage for all professionals  Set the stage for the “Golden Age” of college/university expansion
  • 83. Golden Age 1945-1975
  • 84. Golden Age 1945-1975  500% increase in # of Undergraduate Students
  • 85. Golden Age 1945-1975  500% increase in # of Undergraduate Students  900% increase in # of Graduate Students
  • 86. Golden Age 1945-1975  500% increase in # of Undergraduate Students  900% increase in # of Graduate Students  Primary role for PhDs is to produce Undergraduates
  • 87. Golden Age 1945-1975  500% increase in # of Undergraduate Students  900% increase in # of Graduate Students  Primary role for PhDs is to produce Undergraduates  “In the sixties alone, undergraduate enrollments more than doubled, from 3.5 million to just under 8 million; the number of doctorates awarded every year tripled; and more faculty were hired than had been hired in the entire 325 years of American higher education prior to 1960.7 At the height of the expansion, between 1965 and 1972, new community college campuses were opening in the United States at the rate of one every week.”
  • 88. Taxes vs. inequality vs. Public Ed Massive expansion of Higher Ed
  • 89. 1975-present
  • 90. 1975-present  Not much growth (1%/year) but more diversity
  • 91. 1975-present  Not much growth (1%/year) but more diversity  Male
  • 92. 1975-present  Not much growth (1%/year) but more diversity  Male  1947 = 71% of college students
  • 93. 1975-present  Not much growth (1%/year) but more diversity  Male  1947 = 71% of college students  2010 = 42%
  • 94. 1975-present  Not much growth (1%/year) but more diversity  Male  1947 = 71% of college students  2010 = 42%  White
  • 95. 1975-present  Not much growth (1%/year) but more diversity  Male  1947 = 71% of college students  2010 = 42%  White  1965 = 94%
  • 96. 1975-present  Not much growth (1%/year) but more diversity  Male  1947 = 71% of college students  2010 = 42%  White  1965 = 94%  2010 = 66%  “In the decade between 1984 and 1994, the total enrollment in American colleges and universities increased by 2 million, but not one of those 2 million new students was a white American-born male. They were all non-whites, women, and foreign students.”
  • 97. “For-profit education flooded the market only after the state began to abandon its responsibility to create sufficient institutional capacity in the public system. The problem is not government action, but inaction. As the government gave up its Master Plan responsibility to educate California students, the for-profit sector expanded to fill the demand.”
  • 98. The real crisis: For-profit solution #1  For profits – mining public dollars efficiently by exploiting underserved students who qualify for higher Pell grants  not technological – political economic  Spend< 25% of funds on education  More on marketing, recruiting, debt peonage  10% of ed market, 25% of federal aid  In some cases 85% of income from tax $$  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CPRT-112SPRT74931/pdf/CPRT-112SPRT74931.pdf
  • 99. The real crisis: For-profit solution #1  For profits – mining public dollars efficiently by exploiting underserved students who qualify for higher Pell grants
  • 100. The real crisis: For-profit solution #1  For profits – mining public dollars efficiently by exploiting underserved students who qualify for higher Pell grants
  • 101. The real crisis: For-profit solution #1  For profits – mining public dollars efficiently by exploiting underserved students who qualify for higher Pell grants  not technological – political economic
  • 102. The real crisis: For-profit solution #1  For profits – mining public dollars efficiently by exploiting underserved students who qualify for higher Pell grants  not technological – political economic  Spend< 25% of funds on education
  • 103. The real crisis: For-profit solution #1  For profits – mining public dollars efficiently by exploiting underserved students who qualify for higher Pell grants  not technological – political economic  Spend< 25% of funds on education  More on marketing, recruiting, debt peonage
  • 104. The real crisis: For-profit solution #1  For profits – mining public dollars efficiently by exploiting underserved students who qualify for higher Pell grants  not technological – political economic  Spend< 25% of funds on education  More on marketing, recruiting, debt peonage  10% of ed market, 25% of federal aid
  • 105. The real crisis: For-profit solution #1  For profits – mining public dollars efficiently by exploiting underserved students who qualify for higher Pell grants  not technological – political economic  Spend< 25% of funds on education  More on marketing, recruiting, debt peonage  10% of ed market, 25% of federal aid  In some cases 85% of income from tax $$  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CPRT-112SPRT74931/pdf/CPRT-112SPRT74931.pdf
  • 106. Institutions authorized with credentialing middle class workers and skilled labor force.
  • 107. As the share of enrollment in the for-profit sector increased from 6% in fall 2001 to 12% in fall 2010, the share of Pell Grant funds going to students in this sector increased from 14% to 25%. In fall 2011, for-profit enrollments remained at 12% of FTE students, and the sector’s share of Pell Grants declined to 21%.
  • 108. Pell helps colleges poach middle class payments  “more than one-third of public colleges and nearly two-thirds of private colleges engage in “gapping” — providing lowerincome students with aid packages that don’t come close to meeting their financial need. In the parlance of enrollment management, this is often called “admit-deny,” in which schools deliberately underfund financially needy students in order to discourage them from enrolling.”  http://public.tableausoftware.com/views/pellprivates_test /Sheet1?:embed=y&:display_count=no
  • 109. Udacity’s pivot…
  • 110. Student Debt…mostly for advanced degrees.
  • 111. Ideological support for the meritocracy Education = Employment
  • 112. Tuition rising…public funding falling
  • 113. Tuition rising…public funding falling
  • 114. Unemployment…no jobs investment
  • 115. Bruce Bartlett, in NYT “many corporations are holding vast amounts of cash and other liquid assets, using them neither for investment nor to benefit shareholders. These assets are largely earned and held overseas, and not subject to American taxes until the money is brought home.” “As of the third quarter of 2012 nonfinancial corporations in the United States held $1.7 trillion of liquid assets”
  • 116. Savings, not investment
  • 117. Tech companies as tax dodgers  “Apple deferred taxes on over $35.4 billion in offshore income between 2009 and 2011.”  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/04/business/an-inquiry-into-tech-giants-tax-strategies-nears-an-end.html?_r=0  “Google Inc. avoided about $2 billion in worldwide income taxes in 2011 by shifting $9.8 billion in revenues into a Bermuda shell company, almost double the total from three years before, filings show.”  http://breakingculture.tumblr.com/post/37718667423/google-is-a-u-s-tax-deadbeat
  • 118. In short  Ideological support is not backed by actual public dollars or post-grad jobs.  Points to a larger social crisis  But this doesn’t mean there isn’t a buck to be made…
  • 119. Audrey Watters, Hacked Education  “None of this is inevitable -- not MOOCs, not funding cuts, not the death of the giant brick-and-mortar research university or the death of the small liberal arts college, no matter how gleefully the libertarians in Silicon Valley rub their hands as they craft their hyperbolic narratives about the end of the university and the promise of education technology.”