[The Week in Education and Technology is a weekly summary of news, events, and ideas related to education, technology, and culture.]
Decades ago, the professoriate could rely on its social prestige to protect the community of scholars from external intervention; today, as the status of faculty members moves closer to that of other service employees, like elementary- and secondary-school teachers, we need to follow their example and rebuild our power from below.
Tim Stahmer has a suggestion for dealing with the growth of contract cheating and other forms of plagiarism among students.
Maybe we could reduce plagiarism, and the need for both “contract cheating” and paid gotcha services, by assigning students something more meaningful to do. Asking them to do work based their interests and the problems they see in the world that need solving. And then working with students to assess their own results.
In other news, it seems that not all high school students in California have the same access to early college experiences through dual-credit courses. “About 12.6% of California’s high school seniors in 2016-17 took dual enrollment classes at some point during high school, but Latinx, African-American and socioeconomically disadvantaged students were less likely to do so.”
Also of interest is this “2019 Global Learning Technology Investment Patterns” report from Metaari, which shows investments in Pre-K–12 sector dropped by almost half in 2019. While investments to Pre-K–12 in 2018 reached $1.4 billion, that declined to $855 million in 2019, a reduction of 39 percent.
Among other things, we’ve seen a number of recent articles on the impact of OER on course affordability in higher education. In Oregon, for example, statewide investment in textbook affordability has paid off in lower costs to students at almost every community college.
In Florida, the state’s university system has partnered with Lumen Learning to give students “access to quality and affordable textbooks and other instructional materials, thereby increasing the likelihood of their success in higher education.” Requirements in the action plan put forth by the system include:
- Course materials must be priced at $20 or less per credit hour;
- Students should have access to materials on the first day of class and retain access to digital materials beyond the end of the course;
- The option for print-on-demand for digital materials;
- Accessibility for students with disabilities; and
- University access to data.
Of course, as David Wiley points out, for OER and similar resources to expand further, the community must work to reduce the friction associated with adopting and using them.
Why does affordability matter? Jeff Selingo explains that affordability will matter more than ever in the coming decade. He lists three reasons.
- First, the economic recovery of the past decade has meant barely keeping up for most families.
- Second, more students are “gapped” in their financial-aid packages, as family incomes stay flat and college prices rise (meaning families pay a larger share).
- Third, in the coming decade, the pool of traditional college students will shift to states where low-income students exceed 50% of the total student population.
All of which brings to mind the growing recognition by many institutions that the “same old way of ding things” likely won’t be good enough to thrive in the future. This is particularly true for small colleges. In her new book, called “The Small College Imperative: Models for Sustainable Futures,” Mary Marcy explores five different models used by small colleges to approach the challenges of the future. Meanwhile, over at the Christensen Institute, Richard Price has an interesting read about the need for disruption in small liberal arts colleges.
Something that seems less disruptive and affordable is Purdue Global’s budget for marketing its programs: $132 million last year.
Pew Research Center has an interesting report out on online dating apps in the U.S. According to the report:
Today, three-in-ten U.S. adults say they have ever used an online dating site or app – including 11% who have done so in the past year, according to a new Pew Research Center survey conducted Oct. 16 to 28, 2019. For some Americans, these platforms have been instrumental in forging meaningful connections: 12% say they have married or been in a committed relationship with someone they first met through a dating site or app. All in all, about a quarter of Americans (23%) say they have ever gone on a date with someone they first met through a dating site or app.
In an interesting parallel (if you tilt your head just right), I would also note that Amazon now has 150 million Prime members. It seems that we’re becoming increasingly comfortable with taking care of everything remotely and with less face-to-face interaction.
Speaking of remote, The Chronicle of Higher Education found that 11.2-million adults, or 3.5 percent of the adult population, live more than a 60-minute drive from a public college.
Sometimes it’s the things that go relatively unnoticed that catch my eye. The things we simply take for granted or shrug our shoulders at. For example, there’s news that Waymo’s self-driving cars will soon be carrying packages for UPS in Phoenix. According to the company, “Waymo will be carrying packages between UPS facilities, where a UPS employee can handle the loading and unloading steps at each end. Of course, the two companies could eventually expand the partnership to include other types of deliveries.”
And, finally, this Global Digital Overview (January 2020) presentation has a whole lot of what anyone needs or wants to know about mobile, internet, social media, and e-commerce use around the world in 2020.
Episode 6: The Problem with Government-Subsidized Free Tuition Plans (Education and Technology Futures Videocast)
Episode 7: Subscription Models in Higher Education (Education and Technology Futures Videocast)
The Woman and the Wagon (A Parable)
Episode 8: The Impending Impact of AI in Education (Education and Technology Futures Videocast)