I know I’m way way late to the party here, but Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was on the Daily Show last week. I’ve certainly seen politicians look stupider in that forum, but this (transcript via Inside Higher Ed) is still pretty bad:
“Do you really think in 20 years somebody’s going to put on their backpack, drive a half hour to the University of Minnesota from the suburbs, haul their keister across campus, and sit and listen to some boring person drone on about econ 101 or Spanish 101?” Pawlenty asked Stewart, host of “The Daily Show.”
“Can’t I just pull that down on my iPhone or iPad whenever the heck I feel like it, from wherever I feel like it?” he said. “And instead of paying thousands of dollars, can I pay $199 for iCollege instead of 99 cents for iTunes?”
Um…yes on the backpack and no on the iCollege. Because being in the classroom is the only way anyone can be sure that students are actually learn anything. But that’s not what’s novel about this. Every edu-crat is convinced that online courses are the future. it’s the blatant pandering here that surprises me.
Leaving aside his use of the word keister, it’s pretty clear that he thinks that online education is the Republican pitch to the college age crowd. Professors are boring! Stay in bed! Save money too! Who cares if you don’t actually learn anything? If you watch the video itself, you’ll see that Pawlenty wants to set up Academia as the man that his hip Republican outsider cred will destroy on your behalf. It’s like he wants to destroy the University of Minnesota in order to save it.
Elect this guy President and school really will be out forever.