Radio Open Source had a show tonight on "What Should Colleges Teach?"
I did a brief cameo (around 40-45 minutes into the show), where I argued that the classroom experience is still an essential part of liberal arts education in the humanities. Technology (the internet) is an important tool, but it doesn't substitute, first, for the offline experience of actually sitting down to read books, and second, for the particular chemistry that comes with live debate and challenge that happens in the classroom. A surprising number of students these days don't actually read books (they read on the internet, and they read textbooks). And there are limits to how much you can do with distance learning, discussion boards, course blogs, and virtual classrooms -- though I've experimented with these things in my teaching. I'm one of those early adopters of technology who's actually become a little skeptical about whether it has "fundamentally" changed how students learn.
The great Martha Nussbaum, I was happy to see, agreed with my point.
A downloadable MP3 of the discussion will be up in the next day or two.
(Ok, back to diaper changing...)