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The Digital Learning Revolution: Exploring the Gap Between Rhetoric and Reality

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Invited presentation at Institute for the Science of Teaching and Learning Colloquium Series, Arizona State University, Phoenix, 30th March 2016.

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The Digital Learning Revolution: Exploring the Gap Between Rhetoric and Reality

  1. 1. The Digital Learning Revolution: Exploring the Gap Between Rhetoric and Reality Professor Mark Brown - PhD Director, National Institute for Digital Learning Phoenix, Arizona 30th March, 2016
  2. 2. Outline… 1. Broken Promises 2. Troublesome Paradoxes 3. Competing Modernization Drivers The Digital Learning Revolution: Exploring the Gap Between Rhetoric and Reality
  3. 3. Key message… The Rhetoric Reality Gap
  4. 4. Alexandre Dumas “All generalizations are dangerous, even this one” Key question…
  5. 5. • • • • • What are some of the major new developments shaping the future of higher education? 1. Broken promises…
  6. 6. “With the coming of the New Media, the need for print on paper will rapidly diminish. The day will soon arrive when the world’s literature will be available from The Automatic Library at the mere pressing of a button” (Uzanne, 1994). 1. Broken promises…
  7. 7. “With the coming of the New Media, the need for print on paper will rapidly diminish. The day will soon arrive when the world’s literature will be available from The Automatic Library at the mere pressing of a button” (Uzanne, 1894). 1. Broken promises…
  8. 8. “Books will soon be obsolete in public schools. Scholars will be instructed through the eye. It is possible to teach every branch of human knowledge with the motion picture”. 1. Broken promises… (Thomas Edison, 1912)
  9. 9. “The central and dominant aim of education by radio is to bring the world to the classroom, to make universally available the services of the finest teachers, the inspiration of the greatest leaders... and unfolding world events which through the radio may come as a vibrant and challenging textbook of the air.” Benjamin Darrow 1932 Director of Ohio School of the Air 1. Broken promises…
  10. 10. “We will undoubtedly have lectures of every conceivable kind presented to us right in our homes, when practical television arrives, possibly a year or two off.” Short Wave Craft, 1935 1. Broken promises…
  11. 11. Project Plato – 1960s 1. Broken promises…
  12. 12. Cuban, L. (1986). Teachers and machines: The classroom use of technology since 1920. New York: Teachers’ College Press. Technology Expectation Cycle (1986) 1. Broken promises… High Expectations Subsided Enthusiasm Growing Support
  13. 13. Gartner Hype Cycle “Technology-enhanced learning involves an ongoing cycle of hype, hope and disappointment” (Gouseti, 2010). 1. Broken promises… MOOCs (THE, 2014)
  14. 14. 1. Broken promises… “Resilience requires adaptation and evolution to new environmental conditions, but retains core identity” (Weller & Anderson, 2013, p.55).
  15. 15. 1. Broken promises… “In 50 years… there will be only 10 institutions in the world delivering higher education and Udacity has a shot at being one of them” (cited in Leckart, 2013, P.28) In a March 2012 Wired cover story, Sebastian Thrun predicted:
  16. 16. 1. Broken promises… “According to the hype cycle model, MOOCs should now be exiting the ‘trough of disillusionment’ and entering a period of ‘enlightenment’ as second-generation products and services come onto the market (Linacre, 2014, P.4) United States
  17. 17. 1. Broken promises… Allen, E., & Seaman, J., with Poulin, R., & Taylor Straut, T. (2016). Online report card: Tracking online education in the United States. Babson Survey Research Group and Quahog Research Group. 59% 11%
  18. 18. 1. Broken promises… Horrigan, J. (2016). Lifelong learning and technology. Pew Research Center. Available from http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/03/22/lifelong-learning-and-technology/
  19. 19. 1. Broken promises… Students’ experiences with MOOCs https://library.educause.edu/resources/2015/8/2015-student-and-faculty-technology-research-studies
  20. 20. “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” Amara’s Law 1. Broken promises…
  21. 21. 1. Broken promises…
  22. 22. 2. Troublesome Paradoxes…
  23. 23. “Despite huge advancements in technology over the last 50 years, the wealth gap between developed and developing countries has more than doubled” (John Pilger, 2002). 2. Troublesome Paradoxes…
  24. 24. 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… World Bank Group. (2016). Digital dividends: World development report. Washington: A World Bank Group Flagship Report.
  25. 25. Global Attitudes Project, Pew Research, 2011 http://www.pewglobal.org/2011/11/17/the-american-western-european-values-gap/ The American-Western European Values Gap 2. Troublesome Paradoxes…
  26. 26. Paradox 1 The international demand for higher education is growing exponentially but relatively few universities are exploring the potential of new models of online learning for students living outside the United States. 2. Troublesome Paradoxes…
  27. 27. 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… Education at a Glance…
  28. 28. Allen, E., & Seaman, J., with Poulin, R., & Taylor Straut, T. (2016). Online report card: Tracking online education in the United States. Babson Survey Research Group and Quahog Research Group. 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… 2%
  29. 29. (Heinlein, 2015) 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… 71% outside
  30. 30. 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… Jansen, D., & Schuwer, R. (2015). Institutional MOOC strategies in Europe Status report based on a mapping survey conducted in October - December 2014. EADTU – HOME project. EU EU MOOC Drivers
  31. 31. Jansen, D., & Schuwer, R. (2015). Institutional MOOC strategies in Europe Status report based on a mapping survey conducted in October - December 2014. EADTU – HOME project. Available from http://eadtu.eu/documents/Publications/OEenM/Institutional_MOOC_strategies_in_Europe.pdf 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… Disagree Disagree Agree
  32. 32. “It will not be possible to satisfy the rising demand for Higher Education, especially in developing countries, by relying on traditional approaches.” 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… (Sir John Daniel, 2013) Past President, Commonwealth of Learning; Previous Vice-Chancellor, UK Open University
  33. 33. Blended, Online and Distance (BOLD) education is booming but the level of concern is increasing throughout the world. Paradox 2 2. Troublesome Paradoxes…
  34. 34. 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… http://www.studyportals.com
  35. 35. 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… 2015 - 35 million learners 2014 - 18 million learners http://www.onlinecoursereport.com/state-of-the-mooc-2016-a-year-of-massive-landscape-change-for-massive-open-online-courses/
  36. 36. 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… Worldwide 75% English Language
  37. 37. Jansen, D., & Schuwer, R. (2015). Institutional MOOC strategies in Europe Status report based on a mapping survey conducted in October - December 2014. EADTU – HOME project. Available from http://eadtu.eu/documents/Publications/OEenM/Institutional_MOOC_strategies_in_Europe.pdf 2. Troublesome Paradoxes…
  38. 38. Allen, E., & Seaman, J., with Poulin, R., & Taylor Straut, T. (2016). Online report card: Tracking online education in the United States. Babson Survey Research Group and Quahog Research Group. 2. Troublesome Paradoxes…
  39. 39. Allan, I., & Seaman, J. (2015). Grade level: Tackling online education in the United States. Babson Survey Research Group and Quahog Research Group, LLC. 2. Troublesome Paradoxes…
  40. 40. 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… UK Open University Woodley, A., & Simpson, O. (2014). Student dropout: The elephant in the room (pp. 459-483). In O. Zawacki-Richter & T. Anderson (Eds.). Online distance education: Towards a research agenda. Athabasca: AU Press.
  41. 41. 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… http://www.icde.org
  42. 42. While the benefits of higher education have been quantified we know very little about the societal and economic returns on investment for the subset of off-campus online learners. Paradox 3 2. Troublesome Paradoxes…
  43. 43. Ireland NZ 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… Education at a Glance… United States
  44. 44. 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… Stiles, J., Hout, M., & Brady, H. (2012). California’s economic payoff: Investing in college and completion. Available from https://alumni.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/Californias_Economic_Payoff_Executive_Summary.pdf
  45. 45. “There is also almost no understanding of the private and social benefits of distance and online education in comparison with those of face-to-face education” (Rumble, 2014, p.208). 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… Rumble, G. (2014). The costs and economics of online distance education (pp. 197-216). In O. Zawacki-Richter & T. Anderson (Eds.). Online distance education: Towards a research agenda. Athabasca: AU Press.
  46. 46. 6. “National funding frameworks should create incentives… for higher education institutions to open up education, to develop more flexible modes of delivery and to diversify their student population.” 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… Recommendations
  47. 47. 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… Callender, C. (2015). Putting part-time students at the heart of the system? In N. Hillman (ed.). It’s the finance, stupid: The decline of part-time higher education and what to do about it. Oxford: UK: Higher Education Policy Institute. Available from http://www.hepi.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/part-time_web.pdf
  48. 48. 2.7% 2. Troublesome Paradoxes… Higher Education Authority. (2014). Higher education system performance. First report 2014-2016. Available from http://www.hea.ie/sites/default/files/final_volume_i_system_report_with_cover_letter_.pdf
  49. 49. 3. Competing Modernization Drivers… http://www.changingpedagogicallandscapes.eu/publications/ Published December 2015
  50. 50. “…We risk being left behind as other parts of the world act more nimbly in garnering the benefits of technology” (p.6). 3. Competing Modernization Drivers… http://ec.europa.eu/education/library/reports/modernisation-universities_en.pdf
  51. 51. http://www.ubiquitypress.com 3. Competing Modernization Drivers… Professor Martin Weller
  52. 52. “It is theory that decides what we can observe…” Albert Einstein 3. Competing Modernization Drivers…
  53. 53. 3. Competing Modernization Drivers…
  54. 54. • Open learning • Digital learning • Anytime, anywhere learning Knowledge Society MAJOR COMPETING LENSES E-learning • Online learning • Technology-enhanced learning • Knowledge Economy 3. Competing Modernization Drivers…
  55. 55. “Frankly, all the computers and software and Internet connections in the world won’t do much good if young people don’t understand that access to new technology means… access to the new economy” (President Bill Clinton; cited in Cuban, 2001, p.18). 3. Competing Modernization Drivers…
  56. 56. “Preparing America’s students with the skills they need to get good jobs and compete with other countries relies increasingly on interactive, personalized learning experiences driven by new technology” (ConnectED Initiative, 2013). https://m.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/k-12/connected 3. Competing Modernization Drivers…
  57. 57. Different interest groups and stakeholders borrow the same ‘language of persuasion’ to legitimize their own agenda 3. Competing Modernization Drivers…
  58. 58. Reconceptualizing • Open learning • Digital learning • Anytime, anywhere learning Deschooling ReschoolingReproducing • MOOCs • Learning for all • Global curriculum • Education in change • Just society • Lifelong learning • Pillars of learning • Sustainable development • Mass education • Quality standards • Education as commodity • Increased market competition • Democratic • Digital badges • Opening access • Unbundling learning E-learning • Online learning • Technology-enhanced learning • Knowledge Society Knowledge Economy MAJOR COMPETING LENSES 3. Competing Modernization Drivers…
  59. 59. Emphasis on education in change needs to shift to the language of education for change. 3. Competing Modernization Drivers…
  60. 60. What type of education system do we want the use of new technologies to serve? 3. Competing Modernization Drivers…
  61. 61. 3. Competing Modernization Drivers…
  62. 62. 3. Competing Modernization Drivers… http://www.portlandpresspublishing.com/content/wenner-gren-international-series-volume-88
  63. 63. In summary… • State of the actual • More questions than answers • Importance of clear moral compass Conclusion
  64. 64. “Online learning should be in the service of big ideas, not as a big idea in itself” (adapted from Barnett, 2011). Conclusion
  65. 65. Go raibh maith agaibh!
  66. 66. “A prudent question is one-half of wisdom” Francis Bacon http://www.slideshare.net/mbrownz
  67. 67. Professor Mark Brown Director, National Institute for Digital Learning www.dcu.ie/nidlmark.brown@dcu.ie @mbrownz www.slideshare.net/mbrownz

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