I was attending an online class, part of a course in my MBA, simply because there is a grade penalty for missing classes... And I started thinking:

Attendance is a crucial part of the grading system in many educational systems, which is understandable given the importance of the teacher-student relationship in relaying/consuming knowledge. It is understandable when we are in elementary school, intermediary school, even in high school where most students are prone to be careless towards studying, and attending classes can motivate them to make an effort. It is even understandable why attendance can be important during first years of college, where we are making a jump from high school to a different learning style.

But at some point, we outgrow teaching... At least I believe so. At some point, the teacher’s presence is merely a formality, and a justification for educational institutions to charge loads of money. When we reach a certain level of knowledge and awareness, it should be easy for us to read the materials in a book and understand it on our own or make an extra effort to research it through Mr. Google. We don’t need to attend a class where a teacher is merely reading the text in a book and conjuring up examples we can get in a single Google search, with multimedia showcases.

As the world goes digital, education is slowly following the trend, with virtualization of classes and digitalization of knowledge. So as final thoughts, I ask:

1. What is then the value of degrees if most of what we learn, in most areas, is outdated by the time we graduate and thus we rely on the internet to bring us up to date?

2. And what is the value of attending classes when we are old enough to understand and learn on our own, limiting the role of the teacher to guide, supervise, and grade?

Let me hear your thoughts!