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As usual, +Clay Shirky gets to the heart of the matter. There’s a lot here for those of us encountering similar transformations in the museum space to unpack, but we should really zero in on the idea of “unbundling” component parts of the overall experience. This is about where we’re at in the museum space, but we haven’t necessarily identified it so pointedly. Read up, kids.

MOOCs simply ignore a lot of those questions. The possibility MOOCs hold out isn’t replacement; anything that could replace the traditional college experience would have to work like one, and the institutions best at working like a college are already colleges. The possibility MOOCs hold out is that the educational parts of education can be unbundled. MOOCs expand the audience for education to people ill-served or completely shut out from the current system, in the same way phonographs expanded the audience for symphonies to people who couldn’t get to a concert hall, and PCs expanded the users of computing power to people who didn’t work in big companies.

Read more » Napster, Udacity, and the Academy Clay Shirky.

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