What can higher education provide that Google cannot?

April 26, 2016

“What’s the role of a liberal-arts education in a society that can call up a world of knowledge with a handheld device—or, one day, with a simple stream of neurons?” asks Michael Patrick Lynch for the Chronicle of Higher Education. The answer, he argues, lies in the difference between knowing and understanding. A person can know the simple facts that technologies like Google can retrieve almost instantly, but it is a different skill to understand how a series of facts hangs together. “Understanding is different from other forms of knowledge because it is not directly conveyed by testimony,” Lynch concludes, “it is something you must attain yourself, not something you can outsource.” Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)