1.2 Future Looks Bright

The potential is extraordinary. It’s technically possible, for example, to produce and share instructional media with production value that rivals the best of Madison Avenue advertising. Storytelling and other creative arts can be used to engage students in new ways. Data analytics can help us understand how well students are learning and, more simply, what they’re doing. As well, we can use this information to modify instruction in real-time to better align with the needs of each learner. Formative assessments and dashboards can help students understand what kinds of tactics lead them to learn best, and where and when they need help. Students can engage with simulations to “learn-by-doing” in a realistic, relevant, and risk-free environment.

Photo by  Anna Sullivan

Photo by Anna Sullivan

We can draw on the power of games to maximize the amount of time students spend on instructional challenges, thereby increasing chances for mastery. Artificial intelligence will soon be able to assume more responsibility for providing students with feedback, freeing faculty and other staff to focus on one-on-one support. More broadly, technology creates new opportunities to rethink the basic design of advanced learning, helping us, for example, move away from the illogical semester schedule, or integrate learning activities with the life and professional challenges they are meant to support. We know that education needs to be a lifelong experience - not just because of the (often-overblown) expectations of rapid change in future employment, but because advancing knowledge is critical to the sustainability, health, and prosperity of the planet and its’ inhabitants. The challenges we face in the 21st century are more complex and global in nature. The likelihood that we’ll be able to address climate change, mass migration, the global movement of illnesses, nuclear proliferation, and unemployment created by automation is highly dependent on our capacity to increase the level of literacy, knowledge, and skills of the world’s 7 billion people. Technology is a key means by which we can realize these gains.


1.0 “Losing My Religion: The Promise of Digital Higher Education

1.1 “I’m a Believer, I Couldn’t Leave Her . . .

1.2 “Future Looks Bright

1.3 “No Dress Rehearsal