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Education and Social MediaToward a Digital Future$
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Christine Greenhow, Julia Sonnevend, and Colin Agur

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034470

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034470.001.0001

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Technology and the Economics of Education

Technology and the Economics of Education

(p.197) 12 Technology and the Economics of Education
Education and Social Media

Daniel J. H. Greenwood

The MIT Press

In this chapter, educating via social media is explored from a business perspective. The author points out that the marginal cost of education one new student in a digital environment is zero. But the cost of training the teacher to lead a social media course is high, as is the cost of research. Experiments such as the University of the People can be viewed as generous mechanisms for distributing knowledge from wealthier countries to students in less-wealthy counties. However, if such experiments are widely adopted they will undermine the costly, traditional institutions that in the past have spurred innovation and trained new faculty. Therefore, the traditional economic model of university education may not be sustainable in a digital society. Several new economic models for core educational institutions are discussed, including government subsidies and a re-imagined patent and copyright system.

Keywords:   economic models, social media in education, marginal cost, patent, copyright

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