June 30, 2012 marks my 39th anniversary in the field of university continuing education. I have a personal knowledge of the evolution of our field and of higher education. This is an advantage and also, as I understand every day, a huge disadvantage as we look into the future. One objective of this presentation is to describethe struggles I have with what is happening as I compare where the world of teaching and learning is going, and, at the same time to wonder and promise of that future. Over the last decade I have seen what I call the “second revolution in higher education.” This second revolution has been triggered mainly by Internet-based technology, which is having as profound effect on education, and especially higher education, as the invention of the printing press, which triggered the first revolution. This presentation is, however, not so much an historical tour of the evolution I have witnessed but more of a description of what is happening and what will happen. When I say “what is happening,” I had better have read the morning newspaper because things are happening so quickly now that it is very hard to keep up with things. When I say “what will happen” I am not talking about a prediction so much as I am about the logical projection of what we see happening today into the very near future. From the beginning of the advent of online learning, there were three “promises” that prognosticators posed for online education: 1) that it would improve access to teaching learning, 2) that it would be less expensive and 3) that it would be more effective than current methods in terms of individual learning. At least the first two promises have undeniably been achieved. The third, about learning effectiveness, is less clear to many people. So my second objective of this presentation is to show you that the third promise has also been achieved and is actively being advanced. In proving this to you I do not claim that the methods which we experienced are necessarily worse or that the new methods are substitutes for the old methods. My objective is illustrate hat learners today have many more choices and ease of access to those choices than ever before. My third objective in this presentation is to move beyond, even further, the traditional notions of learning effectiveness that I have listed here for you, into the very science of the brain and of the study of human behavior on the micro level. Here we will be getting into some less documentable trends, but I hope to have you experience something about what I mean—learning how to think.
On April 19, 2012, drag racer driver Matt Hagan walks away unhurt from a 260 mile per hour fire ball. View clip at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2ktuzqeHCsFirst impressions? (Probably incredible that he walked away, and that he was angry that he didn’t win the race.) Note that he seemed completely oblivious to the technology that saved his life and prevented injury. Similarly, we are often oblivious to the technological changes that we employ everyday, including the technology of teaching and learning. Email, Internet access, just-in-time access (a click away) substitutes for trips to the library. I asked my 95 year old mom, born in1917 what technology she felt had the biggest impact on her life when it was introduced. What was her answer? Radio. How many of you listened to the radio outside your car? How many of you listened to something other than music or news (or talk) on the radio? How many of you remember Arthur Godfrey? The Lone Ranger? The Shadow? The FBI story? Sky King? How many of you remember listening to Amos and Andy? How many of you can remember when you, and your neighbors, did not have a television set in the house? How many of you remember listening and watching Jack Benny and his paid (sometimes) servant Rochester? The point I am making is that not only do we often forget about the impact technology has had on us, we also don’t recognize how that technology expressed the cultural milieu that it represented. A modern professional drag racer would view the video we just watched in quite a different context than we come from. And a drag racer who stopped drag racing even just ten years ago, would have even a deeper appreciation for what the technology achieved in this film.
The half life of the impact of technology in teaching and learning is also very short. My son graduated from USC over a year ago. I doubt that he went into the USC library more than 5 times. To us that sounds somehow off base and unacceptable. The fact is that the library came to him as well as literally hundreds of search engines (mainly Google). Whereas we went to the library, identified the Dewey decimal number set that covered our subject of interest, and,if we had “stack privileges,” were able to find a shelf with many lineal feet of books on the subject. That is how we viewed information. My son (and your children and grandchildren) view information through a portal of a word search. Their minds are “wired” differently form ours. So it is no huge leap to consider that they might learn differently than we learned. How can we guide this change without being a part of the culture that produced it?
This set of slides is an effective way of showing the growth of world population. It could serve as an introduction to many subjects. For instance, I could say that coffee production in the last 150 years had increased 30-fold. You would immediately associate the progression I just showed you with coffee production even though only a small period of time is represented by the last 150 years, and that before then very few people consumed coffee. You would also ignore the intervening variable, that population growth, while a probable significant factor in coffee production growth, depends on an intervening variable—the fact that a portion of the population and the new generations like coffee. If I said, for instance, that the dandelion population of the world had increased, my statement would be less supported in your minds by the population growth display—there is not a clear connection between dandelions and population since dandelions have no clear relevance to peoples lives. Here we see that there is a difference between causation and correlation in our interpretation of the display we saw. Now suppose I said to you, the growth in population is causing the world to get warmer. In this case, the visual display is most effective if you: 1) Believe that the world is getting warmer (which is in accordance with the vast preponderance of scientific evidence) and 2) that humans are having an effect on that warming (ditto). If you believe in the first place that those two propositions are true, the visual display is dramatic confirmation. If, however, you have heard that there is some controversy about these two propositions, you might not find the visual display so convincing. The point I am making is that the selection of this learning object influences the student’s response to the learning treatment that follows. Teachers who understand the responses to such displays can alter their teaching in strategic ways.Let me provide another example.
More than 16 million children are now living in poverty and, for many of them, a proper home is elusive. Some cash-strapped families stay with relatives; others move into motels or homeless shelters. But, as Scott Pelley reports, sometimes those options run out, leaving an even more desperate choice: living in their cars. 60 Minutes returns to Florida, home to one third of America's homeless families living without shelter, to find out what life is like for the epidemic's youngest survivors.If you are like me, you responded emotionally to what you have seen and if you were in a course on homelessness, the fact that you heard directly from a homeless person who happened to live within 50 miles of you would have an impact. Please assess your own emotional response to each of these examples. Those of you who responded with more emotion to ____ than to ____ raise your hands. Today we have the technology to actually measure your responses rather than relying on the self assessment you just made. We could wire your brain up and actually measure the difference in brain activity under each viewing. This might seem like an extreme and unlikely example but in fact, brain research is beginning to intersect with research on learning in very direct ways. For instance, we could correlate subjects with similar responses by age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and so forth and then tailor our learning treatment to the audience. Our goal would be to get students really engaged in their learning experience. Some of you have heard about Target’s ability to determine from a change in a customers purchasing habits that she has become pregnant and we suspect that our purchases on Amazon are not only subjecting us to targeted ads for similar books but now also for discounts and sales of everything from Mexican food to beauty products. Scary as it may sound, that same use of technology could and is being used to help students find the right learning treatment for them as individuals. Watch full story at http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7358670n
See “Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County” trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HznOyrzJMN0
Following the population growth theme again, from what you saw you probably would not have much trouble in accepting this statement and this prospect.
The solution to every problem requires large numbers of people to be educated at varying levels.
Following the population growth theme again, from what you saw you probably would not have much trouble in accepting this statement and this prospect.
Yet there is absolutely no way that the demand for education, to sustain social and economic growth and to address our many problems, can be satisfied by traditional higher education.
The demands for workforce education cannot be met by traditional degree programs. Degree education is not affordable by world economies and is often not the appropriate format for many learning objectives.
The purpose of this presentation is to make and document the point that this is no longer a vision, but now a prediction. This prediction presents serious threats to traditional higher education, and, in fact, gives us a window into what has been called “post-traditional” higher education. Institutions now have a responsibility to help our institutions recognize the opportunities and threats that this “imperative” holds for their futures.
First, two critical aspects of education, content and communication have become free or very low cost. Commoditization is a more recent concept, created by Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc., and who coined “Web 2.0” to distinguish what he saw as the use of the Web as a communication and social networking vehicle as contrasted with its initial use as a content and information delivery vehicle. Observing the growth and dynamics behind the development and progress of open source software (free, developed through voluntary communities), O’Reilly applied the “law of conservation of attractive profits” to the phenomenon of open products. When attractive profits disappear at one stage in the value chain because a product becomes modular and commoditized, the opportunity to earn attractive profits with proprietary products will usually emerge at an adjacent stage.
Commoditization pushes the traditional “value proposition” of an industry to the periphery of the good or service. The consequences of the commodification of education are more clearly seen if we observe what happened in the content and communication industries. Providers of content (publishers, encyclopedias) gave way to organizations which provided free content but charged or benefitted from peripheral services (Wikipedia, Google, iTunes and YouTube). Commodification of communications spawned the social network industry and web-based communication (Skype, Facebook, and Twitter). In education we’re seeing the creation of organizations and businesses designed to deliver free services associated with learning pathways (repositories of learning objects and supplemental instruction). Again, the OER/OCW movements are the result of and benefit from the long-term shift in education toward commodification.
Traditional higher education is surrounded by potential competitive factors related to universal access.
Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory was first published in his book, Frames of Mind (1983), and quickly became established as a classical model by which to understand and teach many aspects of human intelligence, learning style, personality and behavior - in education and industry. Howard Gardner initially developed his ideas and theory on multiple intelligences as a contribution to psychology, however Gardner's theory was soon embraced by education, teaching and training communities.To view the multiple intelligences test, visit http://www.businessballs.com/howardgardnermultipleintelligences.htm#multiple intelligences tests
Lewin, T. “Instruction for the Masses Knocks Down Campus Walls.” New York Times, March 4, 2012. “While the vast potential of free online courses has excited theoretical interest for decades, in the past few months hundreds of thousands of motivated students around the world who lack access to elite universities have been embracing them as a path toward sophisticated skills and high-paying jobs, without paying tuition or collecting a college degree. And in what some see as a threat to traditional institutions, several of these courses now come with an informal credential (though that, in most cases, will not be free).” To read complete New York Times article, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/05/education/moocs-large-courses-open-to-all-topple-campus-walls.html?pagewanted=all
For complete article see: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/03/local/la-me-0503-harvard-online-20120503
Perhaps the most extensive effort by a major institution is the non-degree certification movement as the recently announced MITx venture which is an interactive e-learning venture on an open platform that is expected to host "a virtual community of millions of learners around the world.” MITx will offer certificates to non-matriculated students who complete open courses. Further, self-learners will be able to communicate with others (including MIT students) and, for a “modest fee,” be issued a “credential” from MITx. Video located at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2Q6BrNhdh8&feature=player_embedded
Offered through Udacity after its launch on January 23, 2012, “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” enrolledover 160,000 students from more than 190 countries in its first class. The 23,000 students who completed the Artificial Intelligence course were emailed a PDF file (suitable for framing) showing their percentile score, but not the Stanford name; 248 students, none from Stanford, earned grades of 100 percent.To read complete article visit http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/05/education/moocs-large-courses-open-to-all-topple-campus-walls.html?pagewanted=all
Complete WallStreet Journal story at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303299604577326302609615094.html.
Coursera a higher-ed startup focused on bringing Ivy League caliber courses to the masses, for free. Coursera has the ability to reach a vastly engaged audience from their partnerships with universities like Stanford, Princeton, and UPenn.
Private capital and start ups based on the technologies or business plans around free education are proliferating in a bewildering way. This slide is a depiction of that confusion.
1. Prepare you to be released from value judgments about your own experiences in the teaching/learning process2. Show that new learning technology improves teaching/learning by saving time, providing more and meaningful, timely feedback3. Illustrate the ways in which teaching/learning are going beyond the conventional boundaries in search of improvement
American families of 4 are considered impoverished if they make less than $22,000 per yearIt is estimated that the poverty rate for children will rise to 25% This is the largest generation to be raised in hard times since the Great Depression
Hunger Disease Global Warming Terrorism K-12 Education Religious Strife Population GrowthEnvironmental Degradation Economic Development Natural Catastrophes Energy
Imagine a World Problem that Does Not Involve Education
Imagine a World in Which…
What Would They Do? How Would They Spend Their Time?What Would Happen to Their Children?
By 2025, 98 million graduates ofsecondary education WILL NOT beable to attend college
To serve these students, 4 largecampuses, serving 30,000students, would have to be builtEVERY WEEK for the next 15 years
Imagine a world in which everyone could learn anything anywhere anytime for free
Education becomes ubiquitously available at little or no cost Twoelements that are essential to education—content and communication— which are already commoditized Thecommodification of education both threatens and provides huge opportunities for universities
Content/InformationWikipedia Google iTunes YouTube Communication/Interaction (Web 2.0) Skype Facebook Twitter Learning Pathways Flat World KahnOCWC Merlot Connexions Knowledge Academy
Threatened by New Competition Many Alternative Providers Free Free Supplemental Instruction Content Traditional HigherAlternative Education AccessibleStandards Repositories & Values Proliferating Learning Projects
Harvard and MIT are donating $30 million each to develop education via the Internet. Online students will notearn credit, but the move is still seen as bringing prestige to the field.