Hand-picked selections of articles, reports, blog posts and events from the last seven days (or so).
I’ve been in the digital higher education arena long enough to still be shocked when major, mainstream news outlets pay attention to what we’re up to. It seems only yesterday that we were eating at the kids’ table. Below, the Economist offers the now oft-repeated claim that MOOCs will put some institutions out of business.
Excerpt: Top-quality teaching, stringent admissions criteria and impressive qualifications allow the world’s best universities to charge mega-fees: over $50,000 for a year of undergraduate study at Harvard. Less exalted providers have boomed too, with a similar model that sells seminars, lectures, exams and a “salad days” social life in a single bundle. Now online provision is transforming higher education, giving the best universities a chance to widen their catch, opening new opportunities for the agile, and threatening doom for the laggard and mediocre. Read the full article.
University Ventures is a 2 year old private equity concern that invests in promising businesses that serve the needs of colleges and universities that wish to go online. Below, they offer an interesting whitepaper on digital higher education. Worth a read.
Excerpt: Since establishing University Ventures nearly two years ago, we have written and spoken on many aspects of higher education and online education in particular. With nearly 15% of U.S. students enrolled in higher education studying entirely online and earning degrees without ever setting foot on campus, and with online education in the headlines and popular consciousness like never before, this holiday season we thought it would be a nice gift (to ourselves, primarily) to organize our views on the evolution of online education and its impact on higher education more broadly in a handy whitepaper format. Read the full article.
Higher education, despite its best efforts, has never been independent of the broader forces sweeping society. Not surprisingly, then, I find I learn at least as much from articles that appear irrelevant to higher ed. This post on Quartz by Glen Kelman is a good example. (Actually, one of his ideas addresses education directly; see below.)
Excerpt: In 2012, Silicon Valley stopped complaining about the shortage of educated talent and started doing something about it. Microsoft is sending software engineers into high school classrooms. A spin-out of Amazon engineers, Vittana, just raised money to support a wildly successful micro-finance site for funding education in developing countries. Universities launched the first large-scale massive open online courses on everything from math and cyptography to finance or a crash course in creativity. Read the full article.
I’m in the last stages of writing a book. One aspect of the book’s thesis is that traditional colleges and universities are ill-prepared and, in certain respects, incapable of fully leveraging technology to improve the value of online education (cost and quality). When I first started writing the book in earnest, symptoms of the structural limitations of traditional higher ed were hard to come by. Today, I can barely keep up. Here’s one to consider: the growth of public-private partnerships.
Excerpt: For more than a decade, thousands of Rutgers University students have been able to broaden their educations by taking a wide range of online courses offered by the university. Now Rutgers is preparing to significantly expand the reach of the university’s online curriculum to even more students across New Jersey and beyond.
The university today announced a new public/private partnership with Pearson, provider of educational technology, content and services, which positions the university to significantly expand lifelong learning opportunities — including undergraduate and graduate degrees available entirely online — while maintaining access to the same level of academic quality that is offered in the traditional Rutgers classroom. Read the full article.