Shirky versus Bady
The debate over whether MOOCs are the inevitable future of education has been raging and nowhere more so than the blog post by Clay Shirky entitled Napster,Udacity, and the Academy . Metaphors abound in this blog post where Shirky, a Professor at NYC, argues that education packaged as a degree will go the same way as the music industry (where albums are unbundled ans sols as individual songs). Here the user/customer has control. In the same way, the traditional degree can be unbundled through MOOCs.
A similar metaphor can be found with newspapers, where they can be unbundled online with the user only paying for one article. The rebuttal argument by Aaron Bady “Questioning Clay Shirky” disputes this and uses the metaphor of the validity of a online surgeon versus a real one. Interestingly, Shirky replied to this rebuttubal, eloquently, I believe.
The fact that the Gates Foundation has put money into MOOCs further legitimises them in my mind, placing me firmly in Shirky’s camp. The New Your Times declared 2012 as the "Year of the MOOC"