The Boom in Online Courses

Last month on the Daily Show, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty predicted the rise of “iCollege,” a Web-based model of higher education that students could download for $199 rather than “haul their keister” to class. Many academics snarled back (“pedagogical dystopia,” one Cornell professor called it), since the idea seems to minimize the role of live student-teacher exchanges. But Pawlenty’s vision already has some lofty adherents. Pennsylvania’s university system is considering making its language courses online only; Indiana recently added an “affordable” Web-based campus; and Yale Law School is sharing resources with the University of the People, a pioneering “global college” that’s tuition-free and totally online.

Is Activism Dead?

The build-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq triggered the largest antiwar rallies since the Vietnam era, both in America and abroad. Yet the chants of millions of protestors--including "Regime change starts at home" and "Support our troops, bring them home"--seemed to fall on deaf ears in Washington.The decision to invade had apparently been set in stone long before grass-roots opposition had really gotten rolling. Of course, had the military conflict dragged on, then street rallies might have mattered. But the word "quagmire" never did rise to the headlines, and in the end, the peace rallies didn't stop the war.One way of interpreting the failure of the peace movement to affect U.S. foreign policy is that it failed strategically. While Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld planned (and perhaps executed) a 21st-century war plan in Iraq, antiwar protestors largely relied on 20th-century tactics. Street marches may be the peace movement's equivalent of heavy armor and lots of infantry-...