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A Comparison Contrast Essay Of Neil Postman And Thomas Friedman’s Opinions

1166 words - 5 pages

MOOCs and Their Ability to Deliver Writing Instruction Online
A Comparison-contrast essay of Neil Postman and Thomas Friedman’s Opinions
James A. Dennis
University of Maryland University College

MOOCs and Their Ability to Deliver Writing Instruction Online
Higher education is currently undergoing what may be its most significant change since the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century. Technology is restructuring many aspects of education. In today’s technologically advanced society, the term “classroom” has a new meaning. An example of this phenomenon are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). MOOCs provide students from around the world the opportunity to attend and ...view middle of the document...

Postman states that people have had greater access to more information, faster and more conveniently for the last 100 years. The same information that is available online has been available on television, on video tape, on the radio, and in books and magazines for a century. Postman argues that we have been overwhelmed with information for the last century and that we should focus our attention on technology education. Not on how to use technology but on how technology uses us. He uses the automobile as an example. He states that the automobile is a great example of modern technology and he questions if it would have been created it if society knew how it would affect the environment and of how dependent society would become of it. Postman believes more education on the technology itself is needed. Having easier access to information has not made traditional classrooms obsolete. Postman is of the opinion that schools have never been about individualized education and have been more focused on teaching children how to behave in groups. Postman would think that teaching a writing course via MOOC would be unnecessary and they the technology would take away from the meat of the course. Technology has forced society to focus its attention away from bettering the traditional classroom experience and on to improving ways that students can learn outside of the classroom.
Friedman is more optimistic about the roll technology and online course work will play in solving issues found within society and our current education system. According to Friedman (2013), nothing has more of a chance to lift people out of poverty than to provide them with affordable education. The United States could use a small fraction of the money it spends on foreign aid to invest in providing internet and computers to poverty stricken areas. With a few computers and an internet connection the next Einstein could be found. Affordable education will allow people to get a job or improve in the job they do have. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are redefining the way we look at education. Students with autism that would typically be forced to learn at a slower pace are now allowed to study at their own pace. Many colleges and institutions already have various MOOCs available. Courses such as a writing course could easily be taken via MOOC. Friedman envisions an education system where all general studies courses would be taught by using MOOCs. Friedman knows that MOOCs are still in their early stages of development but he can see the potential they have to drastically...

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