At the Center of the Revolution: Review of “Unlocking the Gates”

I wrote about my first reaction to Taylor Walsh’s book “Unlocking the Gates: How and why leading universities are opening up access to their courses” way back in early January:

It’s a deep and compelling companion to Abelard to Apple, and it’s one that I plan to assign as required reading to Georgia Tech’s newly chartered Educational Technology Council.

Today the Pope Center published my full review of Unlocking the Gates. The comparisons to the birth of the web are too obvious to ignore.  My message is directed to universities who want to join the open courseware movement:  what you are grappling with today is all too familiar to those of us who lived through the media revolution  of 1995:

You do not get the feeling from most of the main characters in Walsh’s drama—many of whom lead institutions whose prices continue to spiral out control as their value is systematically hollowed out by the very technologies they once championed—that they lived through any of the events of 1995. They clearly know that a 21st century revolution is under way, but they think that their institutions are at the center of it. In reality, they are bystanders.

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