As the president of Wesleyan University, and somebody who has been teaching college students for 30 years, I’m very skeptical about the current re-fashioning of vocational education under the banner of Silicon Valley sophistication. We do need experiments integrating technology and pedagogy. That’s why I’ve been teaching online courses with my Wesleyan colleagues over the last two years. We’ve reached almost a million students in that time and continue to learn from working together. But we teach students online in the same way we do on campus: with the goal of broadening their thinking while sharpening their skills.
There are many, many problems currently plaguing higher education. But trying to change the definition to include the training of people in only one skill set is an obvious mistake.