Embanet Keynote


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  • I wanted to talk today a little bit about changes happening in education and the world around us.It seems that people are always talking about why education is failing – why it needs to be reformed – and how much is at stake.
  • Here are a couple of quotes that seem to capture what a lot of people today are thinking about education…The first is from the President’s Education Secretary…and while it sounds like something Arne Duncan would say, this is actually a quote from Lyndon Johnson’s Education Secretary in the 1960s.The next quote comes from the President of Indiana University and hits on the question of whether education is really worth it. Except the quote isn’t from the current Indiana president, but the one from the beginning of last century.So we’ve struggled with education for a long time. But are today’s challenges any different? And what do the current changes happening in technology and business and lifestyle mean for higher education?
  • I think part of the reason is that if you look at today’s classroom, it doesn’t really look that much different than it did 100 or 200 years ago.It’s often said that if Ben Franklin were alive today, the only thing he would recognize from his own lifetime is the inside of a classroom because it has changed so little.
  • Some of those who watch these dynamics closely have even suggested that after crashes in real estate, the stock market, and the overall economy, that education could be the next “bubble.”Paypal founder Peter Thiel touched on this idea when he launched a program recently to give students $100K if they would drop OUT of college to try startups and other projects.
  • Some of those who watch these dynamics closely have even suggested that after crashes in real estate, the stock market, and the overall economy, that education could be the next “bubble.”Paypal founder Peter Thiel touched on this idea when he launched a program recently to give students $100K if they would drop OUT of college to try startups and other projects.
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  • While we struggle with these challenges in education technology is transforming everything around us, making it harder to keep up.The rise of the social Web is happening faster than the changes that came before it, and reshaping expectations and opportunities for every industry. Think about it: there are 7 billion people alive in the world today……and we already have 5 billion mobile phones worldwide. Of course I have three different ones right now but still…that’s a lot of phones…
  • Today, more people have access to a mobile phone than a clean toilet. Which is kind of scary when you think about it…
  • Thankfully some of these people are now using their phones to find a clean toilet! Yes, there’s an app for that. Hundreds of thousands of people have already downloaded the “Toilet Finder” app so they can find a place to take care of business…
  • In 2009 there were 300 million mobile apps downloaded. Last year there were 5 billion.
  • Did you know that 92 percent of American kids have an online presence by the time they’re just 2 years old?
  • Today, Kindle books now outsell all hardcover and paperback books sold on Amazon, COMBINED.
  • So obviously the passion people have for mobile devices is extreme – students are now spending 9 percent more time on apps than on the Internet. And more time on social media than they spend reading or doing email.
  • And in higher ed, a recent study found that 80 percent of all college admissions officers have received a friend request from applicants. Interesting…I wonder how many accepted?
  • So now students can use their mobile devices for more than Angry Birds or chasing food trucks. So far, over 5 million students have used our apps to check their grades. They’ve checked their courses over 13 million times. During back to school in September, there were over 3 million hits on our apps in just three weeks.
  • At Blackboard, we saw the way that young people were using social networks and we heard from them that they wanted to see more of that in their education experience. So we’re re-engineering our software to support more socialization. Now, you’ve got blogs and wikis right in the course. And soon, instead of going into their courses sequentially like they have in the past, when a student logs into Blackboard, they’ll see their own “stream” of information with news and updates from their classmates, courses, and activities, presented in a way that’s very similar to the way their information is presented on sites like Facebook.
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  • Take a look at Borders, an institution that couldn’t really keep up with where the world is heading. Borders had difficulty reaching the higher expectations consumers developed in part thanks to technology. Successful institutions must find ways to reinvent themselves to stay relevant when the world changes. Otherwise they go away.I think the Borders example is actually very relevant to higher education. Because as we try to keep up, we’re facing the same changes that Borders did, reaching with people that have become much savvier consumers in all parts of their lives. They have much higher expectations and are much more willing to walk if they don’t feel like those expectations are being met.
  • In some parts of the world, this may be already happening. England has been struggling with major economic issues that forced them to make changes in how education is funded. Higher ed in England has always been heavily subsidized and very low cost. But starting next year, tuition at many colleges will nearly triple. And young people have taken to the streets in a series of protests that drew attention all over the world.
  • Actually, the U.S. is wrestling with very similar issues and many states are having to consider their own hard choices. Let’s look at it through the lens of the challenges faced by just one state: Iowa.Iowa can be considered a bellwether state politically. In the last five presidential elections, Iowa’s popular vote has been within a couple of percentage points of the national popular vote. So the state’s vote has been highly predictive of the eventual winners. But Iowa is also a bellwether in other ways.
  • Look at education. Iowa recently shared some data on their own education performance and they rank 8th in the nation in the percentage of high school graduates. Sounds pretty good, right?
  • It does until you realize that in just seven years, over 60 percent of all jobs in Iowa will require some postsecondary education…
  • …and only 1 in four Iowa students have a Bachelor’s degree…
  • … and just 8 percent have a graduate degree.
  • Maybe, but the state reports that they’re now spending LESS on technology than they did a decade ago. Now, I personally think that states should spend BILLIONS on school technology…but most people would agree that trying to meet the challenges of 2012 with a 1998 budget doesn’t make a lot of sense.
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  • So these forces are reshaping the world and how people live in it. And they pose big questions for education and its ability to keep up.What are we going to do about it? How do we in education respond? Can we leverage these new technologies to reinvent education to make it more relevant and impactful?I believe that in education, we need to be more: SocialOpenMobileAnalyticalOr SOMA for short. And we need to do it fast.
  • Look at the music industry. It wasn’t long ago when they were in a fight with technology and new sharing sites like Napster. There was a lot of upheaval over digital rights management and illegal downloading. But over time lots of people were working together to figure out new models for delivery and engagement. And the situation is much better for users. Today they have access to the next generation of music programs like iTunes and Spotify and Pandora.
  • OPENNESS -, we’ve seen pioneers like MIT and Stanford experiment with making their courses available to wide audiences outside their institution. As more follow their example, some are wondering what we stand to lose by giving away access to courses, content and teaching. But others are asking what we to gain? We’re following this work closely ourselves to see how we might make it easier for people that use our software to support open education more broadly within and outside of their institutions.
  • SOCIAL - One of our clients, Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana, is a great example of an institution that’s going social. They’re the largest accredited school in North America with more than 100,000 students. So they’re Really Big. But they’re using our instant messaging and collaboration tools to make the learning experience more personal. And to encourage informal, peer-to-peer learning through spontaneous, instant connections. It’s like FaceTime for learning.
  • ANALITICS - One of thebest stories I’ve seen is at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where John Fritz and his team are looking at e-learning activity data and showing that to students so they can compare their own activity to that of their peers. And begin to see the kinds of changes they could make in their engagement or study habits based on a profile of activity that can lead to greater outcomes. They believe, like I do, that your activity data should tell you something, and that we should figure out a better way for it to be used to improve the student experience.
  • I don’t know what the school of the future will look like. I don’t know ow long it will be until students really have more control over the learning process? What I do know is that when you look at the characteristics of the learner and when you examine the economic forces that are applying pressure around us there is a change coming. Institutions can utilize technology to help adapt to that change – the technologies we have talked about today – Openness, Social, Analytics, and Mobile.We’re seeing pockets of innovation, but we need those to be at a much broader scale. So far, the impact of innovation on education has been modest when you consider its overall potential, and how innovation has already transformed every other area of our lives.We like to think that our education system is the BEST in the WORLD. But WHICH WORLD? The one our education system was built for 200 years ago? Or the one that’s rapidly changing around us as we speak?
  • Embanet Keynote

    1. 1. Michael L. Chasen President & CEO, Blackboard Technology & education
    2. 2. The Blackboard Story Born from education in 1997 Brought to market a basic level course management system in 1998 Extended product lines to other core academic technology Serves 10,000+ institutions In 65 countries 20m+ users 2 Acquired other eLearning Providers
    3. 3. I am entirely certain that twenty years from now we will look back at education as it is practiced in most schools today and wonder how we could have tolerated anything so primitive. JOHN W. GARDNER, Education Secretary to President Lyndon Johnson, 1965-1968
    4. 4. #1 - It’s Being Driven by the Consumer
    5. 5. 10 #2 - The Bubble is about to Pop
    6. 6. It’s Being Driven by the Consumer
    7. 7. Institution (system administrator) Consumer (the student)
    8. 8. & Blackboard Visit: http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/zeitgeist2010/regions/us/cities.html Blackboard was a Google Top 10 Search Term in 10 Major U.S. Cities in 2010
    9. 9. The Bubble is about to Pop
    10. 10. 34
    11. 11. 38
    12. 12. 39
    13. 13. 40
    14. 14. 41
    15. 15. So How do We Respond
    16. 16. • How do we in education respond? • Can we leverage these new technologies to reinvent education to make it more relevant and impactful? • How do we change education before it is changed for us? • To help us answer these questions we can look to technology
    17. 17. 54
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