This Week’s Trends in Education and Technology (February 14-20)
[The Week in Education and Technology is a weekly summary of news, events, and ideas related to education, technology, and culture.]
That’s a real fundamental question about the higher education system right now. People say, “The only way you can exist as a college is to be rich.” Imagine if we said that about all of society: “The only individuals who have real meaning and should persist are the ones who have the greatest net worth.”
Bernard Bull, President Goddard College
There’s plenty of talk these days about how we can best prepare students for successful futures. One educator thinks the key is instilling an entrepreneurial mindset. Angela Miceli, who teaches in Chicago, says that this mindset includes:
- Communication and collaboration
- Creativity and innovation
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Future orientation
- Opportunity recognition
- Comfort with risk
- Initiative and self-reliance
- Flexibility and adaptability
Another popular trend is early-college high school, or having students take college courses for dual-credit while they are still completing their high school studies. A recent policy brief from the American Institutes of Research shows that there are a number of lasting benefits related to this practice.
Our research shows that early colleges are an effective way to increase rates of college-going and college completion, and that the return on the investment in these programs is positive for both the student and society at large,” Kristina Zeiser, one of the lead AIR researchers on the project, said in a written statement. “As these programs grow across the country, our brief offers some considerations for policymakers and others who seek to improve outcomes for all students.
A prominent theme of late is the financial struggle faced by many smaller liberal arts universities. This week, we have examples of two universities at different points in their journey toward financial/institutional reorganization and success.
Hardin Simmons University, a private Baptist University in Texas, announced that it would be cutting a number of programs and faculty positions to aggress its $4 million deficit. A big part of its cuts will come through the elimination of the Logsdon School of Theology, which will be folded into the Cynthia Ann Parker College of Liberal and Fine Arts.
At the same time, we have an update on President Bernard Bull’s work to right the ship at Goddard College. A year ago, the institution was in deep debt and struggling to keep its doors open. Fast forward and they have balanced their budget and put together a framework for an innovative future and, hopefully. full re-accreditation.
Overall, I think it’s really important for universities to realize just how competitive the market is. One source of that competition for four-year colleges is the rise of community colleges offering bachelor’s degrees.
Almost half of the states (23) now allow community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees to help meet workforce demands, increase access to educational and career advancement opportunities, address college affordability, and increase degree attainment rates, according to a new report from the Education Commission of the States.
In other news, let’s just say that the Thoma Bravo proposed acquisition of Instructure is an entertaining spectacle.
There are also several new “trends” lists to bookmark. These include:
- IT Trends to Watch as Higher Education Moves into a New Decade
- 6 Ed Tech Trends to Watch in 2020
- Annual Trends Report — Chronicle of Higher Education
I also enjoyed reading this report on the future of assessment. The report lists five principles and targets for assessments by 2025. According to the report, they should be (1) Authentic, (2) Accessible, (3) Appropriately automates, (4) Continuous, and (5) Secure.
And, lest it’s fallen off your radar, remember that voice-Enabled technology is changing the contours of higher education.
On the technology front, we have a steady stream of reports about continued advancements in AI. As an example, this week we have a chatbot capable of near-human conversation, an AI that can perfectly dub videos in Indic languages, and one that can intelligently crop videos for any screen size.
And finally, is there a paradigm shot on the horizon for smartphones. One reporter certainly thinks so, writing that the future is going to be foldable.