Earlier this month, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said on national television that iCollege, which would have students attend classes digitally, was the wave of the future.
"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 said on the Daily Show two weeks ago. "Is there another way to deliver the service other than a one-size-fits-all monopoly provider that says show up at 9:00 Wednesday morning for Econ 101. 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? And instead of paying thousands of dollars, can I pay $199 for iCollege instead of 99 cents for iTunes?"
Pawlenty took heat for the iCollege idea from those who say it's foolish to talk about replacing bricks and mortar schools with technology and offering classes online costs as much if not more than offering them on campus.
On Friday during his WCCO radio show, Pawlenty said his critics misinterpreted his comments.
He said the iCollege idea, which he has long touted, should "supplement" not replace traditional class time.
"I've been trying to convince folks that for some parts of college, it is good for colleges and universities to continue to offer and offer even more online," Pawlenty sad Friday. "But it's been misconstrued by some in the media, saying well Pawlenty wants to abolish traditional college. The proposal that I have and the concept that we have is to use this as a supplement to traditional college...We're just saying for some and maybe many of the undergraduate experience many of those classes can be performed or available partially or fully online."
You decide: Do his original comments make it seem like he's talking about a supplement? Or a replacement?