Horses, Oxen and Education

This excerpt was a rely to one of my colleagues who shed some doubt about the effectiveness of online courses in regulated courses:

Doug: This is so very true. We have a dilemma. Trying to use the wrong tools for the solution. It is the curse of living at the verge of change.

This reminds me of an Australian movie about something that happened in 1920’s. The scene shows a farmer who owns a lot of horses and oxen that he use to plow and harvest his field. His young son, who just graduated, came back to the farm driving one of those newly invented cars. He told his father that this machine is the future and it will replace the animals in the field work. His father rode on a horse and told him “show me”. Obviously, the horse was much faster running on the field terrain and the car got stuck in the mud after few yards. The father sat triumphantly on his rocking chair and cynically asked his son: “It will never replace my animals. How do you feed hay to this machine?”
Obviously the car was the wrong tool for the period. Few years down the load, the car evolved into a tractor and replaced the animals and changing the farming industry and proved Malthus wrong. The son was right, but the father did not see at the time.
We are in a similar situation. Online courses and technology are not the solution for everything yet. We still have to use the horses until online courses and education evolves to become suitable. Until then, we have to use the “cars” where they are applicable. Like driving from the city to the farm and not more.