This Week’s Trends in Education and Technology (October 4-10)

Oct 11, 2019 | TWTET

[The Week in Education and Technology is a weekly summary of news, events, and ideas related to education.]

Notable Quote

“Was Global Freshman Academy an experiment worth running? Absolutely. In fact, I fervently hope that ASU will be more forthcoming than they have been so far with the lessons they have learned from the experience. Did students in those courses gain value? While that article doesn’t provide significant data on this question, I strongly suspect that many did. Were MOOCs an effective vehicle for saving freshmen roughly 25% of the cost of a college tuition while still getting them on to sophomore year? Clearly not.” Michael Feldstein

Things That Caught My Attention

K-12 Education

Traditional public schools vs. charter schools (also publicly funded) is a big debate topic in many cities and states. In many ways, this debate is a distraction from the real issue, which is the need to create more great public schools in general.

To do this requires that all participants in the education system evaluate curriculum, processes, and instruction models. Our kids are our future and we must all be willing to rethink everything about our current models in order to create the education they need to flourish.

Here are a couple of articles that contribute to that mindset.

Higher Education

Anyone who follows the TEL blog knows that affordability is central to everything we do. Providing equitable access to high-quality and highly affordable college-level learning is the core of our mission. With that in mind, I think it’s important to look at where the top Democratic presidential hopefuls stand on college affordability. For further context, I would also suggest that you check out my post “There’s No Such Thing as ‘Free College’.” Of course, there is a growing sentiment in some sectors that college is no longer the sure path to success.

Elsewhere in Higher Education, we continue to see universities employing a variety of different strategies with regards to achieving long-term viability in a shifting market. Along those lines, National University will change its name to Sanford University as part of a $350 million pledge by T. Denny Sanford, philanthropist and owner of First Premier Bank.

When there’s no massive donation waiting in the wings, some institutions consider a merger with another university. Bryan Alexander has a nice post on the likelihood of such mergers happening and succeeding.

There are also plenty of lessons to be learned from universities that have gone through a transition process to become much larger both in terms of enrollment and reach. Southern New Hampshire University’s story is certainly worth reflection.

Educational Technology and Learning Design

Donald Clark has a nice recap of the EdCrunch event in Moscow last week. It’s a good reminder that, with regards to education technology, we’re always moving between the current reality and the not-too-distant coming reality. A good example is the MOOC. What reached peak hype in 2012 has fallen into the abyss but has also led to some interesting innovations in online learning and learning technology. Coursera’s decision to transition into the courseware market is the latest example. For some interesting insights into the development, I suggest checking out Michael Feldstein’s take.

Not all innovation is about technology, however. Sometimes, innovation is simply about rethinking or redesigning an age-old artifact, such as the syllabus.

Workforce Readiness

I was inspired by this story about the use of education in a Washington DC correctional center to prepare inmates for future success.

Media, Publishing, and Cultural Trends

Pew Research has a new survey report out and it appears that a majority of U.S. adults can answer fewer than half the questions correctly on a digital knowledge quiz, and many struggle with certain cybersecurity and privacy questions.

A new Pew Research Center survey finds that Americans’ understanding of technology-related issues varies greatly depending on the topic, term or concept. While a majority of U.S. adults can correctly answer questions about phishing scams or website cookies, other items are more challenging. For example, just 28% of adults can identify an example of two-factor authentication – one of the most important ways experts say people can protect their personal information on sensitive accounts. Additionally, about one-quarter of Americans (24%) know that private browsing only hides browser history from other users of that computer, while roughly half (49%) say they are unsure what private browsing does.

It’s also interesting to read that even high-income millennials fear they’ll need to work forever.

Technology and Finance

Of course, regardless of what happens in the realm of education, innovation and change march on quickly in the rest of the universe. Here are a few articles from last week that provide insight into how technology and business continue to evolve.

Research Articles and Posts for the Week

TEL Library Posts You May Have Missed

K-12 Education

Higher Education

Learning Design, Learning Theory, and Educational Technology

Workforce Readiness

Media, Publishing, and Cultural Trends

Technology and Financial Trends

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