Wikinomics warns that non-elite colleges risk the same plight now facing newspapers. Rarely do the dominant industries lead innovation, and in the case of the papers:
[L]eaders of old paradigms have the greatest difficulty embracing the new. Why didn’t Gannett create The Huffington Post? Why didn’t NBC invent YouTube? Why didn’t AT&T launch Twitter? Yellow Pages should have built Facebook and Microsoft should have come up with Google. And Craigslist would have been a perfect venture for the New York Times.
As for the universities:
But less-selective private colleges and regional public universities, by contrast - the higher-education equivalents of the city newspaper - are in real danger. To survive and prosper... universities need to integrate technology and teaching in a way that improves the learning experience while simultaneously passing the savings on to students in the form of reduced tuition.
One thing for sure. The smartest students want to get an “A” without having ever gone to the lectures. They understand that there are better ways of learning than being the passive recipient of a one-way, one size fits all, teacher-focused model where the student is isolated in the learning process. When the cream of the crop of an entire generation is boycotting the formal model of pedagogy, the writing is in the wall.