To end on a positive note. A colleague sent me the "The 'Cost Disease' in Higher Education: Is Technology the Answer?"
"The 'Cost Disease' in Higher Education: Is Technology the Answer?" examines key aspects of economics in higher education—such as cost trends, affordability issues, and productivity—and the potential impact online learning could have on them. Written by William G. Bowen, founding chairman of ITHAKA and board member, this two-part lecture was first presented through the Tanner Lecture Series in October 2012
Here is my analysis of Lecture #2
This is a great article from a clearly well honed mind.
The only point I would push back on is the idea we should build a tool-kit. It is 2012, the tsunami bells are tolling. We should respond, but not panic. We don't know when or where the coming tsunami will hit higher education. But we do know that it has the potential to create drastic changes. If we start building an industry standard tool-kit in 2012 we may be first to market but we may not be right-to-market. Rather, now is the time for us to marshal our resources while keeping all eyes and options open. We have to respond quickly and aggressively when the strategy becomes clearer. But right now the bells and hands are ringing. Now is the time for dialog, debate, education and alignment. We (the greater higher education community) should start building tool-kits once we have more clarity.
If we build a toolkit in 2012 we build based on the 2012 version of reality. In 2012;
- Computers are not adaptive (Siri is not smart enough to tutor)
- Faculty still "own" their lectures
- Publishers "own" content
- Accredited Universities are still the only way to get a credential needed for most mainstream employment. (Employers still require a diploma from an employees early 20's over a badge from this year.)
- The practice of "active learning" is still emerging and hasn't overtaken rock-on-rock lectures.
If we respond as a higher education community, or even an institution, and build a toolkit in 2012 it will look at lot like what we know in 2012. I fear it will be like the a video based lecture from the eighteenth century. I'm not suggesting we shouldn't prepare and explore e-learning. Far from it. I think it should be our institutions #1 priority. However I do think that in 2012 we are still at the point of letting 1,000 flowers bloom and are not ready to respond with industry or institutional force.
What should we do in 2012:
- Encourage faculty to learn about technology (the average understanding of how to use electronic tools is horrific)
- Encourage faculty to explore "flipping" the classroom
- Align the institutional resources around 2012 style pedagogy (where are all the video producers, programmers that can build adaptive learning systems, programmers that can help with e-tutoring, people who understand the content and copyright law of 2012) and make these experts seamlessly available to faculty as they explore the 1,000 flowers of 2012.
In 2012 we must keep our eyes on our flowers. Once it is clear where the tsunami will hit and how we should respond we must be ready to pick one, kill the rest and respond with full institutional force.