Will knowledge remain valuable if it is democratised?

Updated: Dec 31, 2019

In the past few months I have engaged with a few thinkers on the issue of knowledge sharing.  I was told that knowledge needs to be handed down by a select few (like professors) to students (novices) before it is valuable. The argument I heard was the learned have the maturity to understand the good from the bad. The novice on the other hand will tend to choose the path of least resistance rather than toil with the ‘good’. I remain unconvinced.

Here are some facts to consider:

Wikipedia and Google killed reference publishing; as the world knew for 200 years!

The very first MOOC that attracted 160,000 students officially shut down in about a year.

  1. Currently only 4% of those who started a MOOC finished it.

  2. About 50% of those who signup, NEVER open their first lesson.

Yet, everyone is now convinced some form of open sourced learning will prevail.

I asked Prof Jagdish Sheth about the setbacks and here is his response – “the first wave of most innovations fail. This is normal. MOOCs might not be effective in the current form. This however, can and will change over time. The only answer to educating the masses is some form of MOOC.”

This sentiment is echoed across academia.

Will further ‘liberating’ knowledge from the hallowed walls (read ‘closed walls’) of education institutions be good or bad for mankind? MOOCs use one path to move away from formal brick and mortar institutions. There could be other ways. But the question still remains. Academics still believe pedagogy of knowledge is the only true validator of acceptable (read certified) knowledge. I think there could be other forms of validation that are perhaps waiting to be discovered.

What do you think?

Do you think there are specific pathways to validating knowledge?

Do you think a new pathway is perhaps around the corner?

If you were to look at a crystal ball, what to you is the future of knowledge?

I would like you to provide your perspective as a student, a teacher, a user and a creator of knowledge.

Please use the comment button to post a comment.

#student #teacher #MOOC #futureofpublishing #sharingknowledge #JagdishSheth

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© 2020 Vivek Mehra