Disruptive Innovation: refers to the revolutionary changes in goods and services delivery due to technological change-some examples. During the lifetimes of new students entering college this year, 2/3 of all independent bookstores in the US have been eliminated-click-
-newspapers have been irrevocably changed---with most major dailies having to either close down or reduce to bare bones operations in the face of an explosion of information on the internet----in the music industry---file sharing and free downloads have radically changed the way that we obtain and listen to music—industry players that have refused to change have simply been swept away-in short-the way that we access, use, exchange, and yes, learn, have been undergoing transformation---
-disruptive innovation comes to higher education--There are major changes taking place in the way that higher education is located in the broader society---some of these trends are probably transitory, but some deserve some looking in to, and we may be on the verge of a disruptive innovation in the way that we teach and learn—-early signs: an increasing outcry against the high costs of education. -In 2010, the Thiel Foundation in the US offered 20 students $100,000 to drop out of college and start their own businesses. The 20 under 20 Fellowship encouraged young people to reject college, which they argued was a bad investment, and instead utilize their talents to create new innovative start-ups.
Created by Paul Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, 20 Under 20 Foundation made a lot of headway with its argument that college did not help people learn, was too expensive, left students in high debt, and left people unemployed or underemployed.
-then, still reeling from these criticisms, higher education got another blow from technology advocates. In 2011 Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen argued that new educational technologies would lead to a disruption and disaggregation of universities as their functions became displaced by competition from online offerings. Professors would become obsolete as students increasingly sought their degrees online, and technologies made it possible for large numbers of people take courses from a very small number of providers. -last year you may have heard Teresa A. sullivan was dismissed from her post as head of the University of Virginia, in part because of the perception that she was not adapting fast enough to new technologies
This summer I enrolled in an online course offered by Princeton “Sociology 101”. The course was offered through a new third-party course system called Coursera, which also offers courses from University of Pennsylvania, Stanford and the University of Michigan. I liked Sociology, but I could have taken Computer Science, Mathematical Algorithms, Cardiac Arrest, Fundamentals of Pharmacology, Listening to World Music, Vaccines, Anatomy or The History of the World since 1300 if I’d wanted to. Some of the features of the course: Course had over 30,000 students enrolled!!!!Used short video overviews, accompanying readings, course discussion boardsSystem of peer grading for mid-terms and finalPrinceton did not offer credit, but would share test results with outside parties with permission.
As an experience I noticed a few things about learning this way: first, discussions among 30,000 people were fascinating. People organized themselves into study groups, first by country, then by age, ethnicity, language, then they linked up with other platforms---Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, and many others sprang up spontaneously.
All of this prompted me to think about what it is, exactly, that we are doing here. What does university offer that can’t be offered in other ways, more cheaply, and more conveniently? How should we respond, will I still have a job in a decade? Will we still have students wanting to come to class, and if so, what are we going to offer them?So, I came up with 4 Things that higher education, and especially political science training, can offer…Future-Proofing-everything can be Googled, we know that, but how relevant is a Google search? What does it really tell you? education is more than just accumulating information---people need guides to help them understand information, give them context, etc.-as many as half of the jobs that learners will be doing in a decade do not exist right now…learners need flexibility, adaptability, and the ability to think critically and analyze
2. Practice-online courses are still mostly delivery engines---they rely on the students’ initiative to keep them going, a great strength, but also a huge weakness—the average completion rate for a Bachelor’s degree for all colleges in the US is around 50%; for all online programs, it is a measly 25%-Active learning helps students to engage with the material and make it theirs----students need to do---to practice their thinking and apply it to new, unknown problems3. Making connections-learning how things connect is an integral part of learning about politics---how can we compare, contrast, integrate, isolate, and parse the relationships between events4. Teamwork-learners need to interact in the moment—communicating face to face with peers and with teachers creates a culture of learning, this isn’t taught, it’s experienced-teams are everywhere—and they’re getting more sophisticated—in business, in the arts, in science, in education---the knowledge of the team is proving itself superior to individual effort—What is missing from this list? How do you see education in political science in the next decade? What will you be doing? Will it be the same, or different?
• Course had over 30,000 students enrolled!!!!
• Used short video overviews, accompanying
readings, course discussion boards & a weekly seminar
with 6-8 select students by video (recorded)
• System of peer grading for mid-terms and final
• Princeton did not offer credit, but would share test
results with outside parties with permission.