Go to www.testandtrace.com 🐇 @Noahpinion Bloomberg Opinion writer. Writes about economics, tweets about rabbits. Doesn't actually look like William Butler Yeats. May. 16, 2020 1 min read

Lots of tech people talk about disrupting college and replacing it with online education. But so far they only seem to think of college in terms of education. It's also:
* long-term networking
* group socialization and personal growth
* fun, partying, and sex
* independent living

If you're going to disrupt college with apps, you need to think about how to provide ALL of those things. Not necessarily in one app, but in a suite of them. Without the full package, apps will never replace the college model.

Also, every would-be college-disrupter that I've talked to seems to think ONLY about software skills (and maaaaybe electrical engineering) as important educational skills. That's only a modest piece of the skills universe, though, and it will remain thus.

For bio or most science and engineering skills, you need labs to work in. Where will those come from in the age of online education? That's a problem I haven't seen any tech disrupters come to grips with yet.

There's also the (possibly unpleasant) question of assortative socialization and mating. College is a place where smart kids go to meet, befriend, network with, have sex with, and have relationships with other smart kids.

How can apps produce that sort of sorting? Should they??

Until there is an app or suite of apps that lets smart kids learn ANY useful skills WHILE having positive formative experiences with and building long-term personal and business relationships with other smart kids, college will not be replaced.

That's what it would take.


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