A great resource for staying informed about trends in education and trends in technology.
Earlier this summer I attended the NYSCIO Conference in beautiful Skaneateles Falls, NY. This was the 12th year for this gathering of New York State Higher Education CIOs and other senior IT leaders. This year's session, focused on collaboration – a very worthy topic, was attended by 90 IT leaders representing 59 New York State higher education institutions. While at the event I had the pleasure of participating in this fascinating interactive presentation conducted by Bryan Alexander. Bryan is a futurist, researcher, writer, speaker, consultant, and teacher, working in the field of how technology transforms education. He recently started publishing a “Future Trends in Technology and Education” newsletter. The newsletter is free (for the time being) and it provides an easy to read digest of recent trends in this fields.
Selected excerpts from the June and July issues
To give a sense of some of the types of content these newsletters offer, and whet reader's appetites for more, I am providing a small selection of content from the first two issues of the newsletter (with permission, of course). I have focused first on content that connects education and technology, but I have included a few other education-specific or tech-specific excerpts. I should make it clear that these compendiums provide trending insights specific to both topics, so if you are interested in trends in education or trends in technology, you're going to appreciate this resource.
The information is presented in brief, summary form, making it easy for busy professionals to review and consume the insights provided. I should also add that each of the trends noted in the newsletter is accompanied by a reference to the source material, in good scholarly practice (I have not included those references here, for brevity's sake).
MOOCs and online learning:
- The California state system is considering shifting some science lab time to online versions, in order to free up room for more students.
- MIT offered one MOOC for professional development credit, and for a fee.
- Georgia Tech announced a partnership with MOOC provider Udacity and AT&T, aimed at supporting a wholly online masters degree in computer science at 1/6th of normal tuition.
- MOOCs about teaching online began to appear, as HP announced a set of summer MOOCs in how to teach various disciplines online.
- A Wisconsin school offered a kind of meta-MOOC, concerning cheating in online classes.
- A European effort, the MOOC Production Fellowship, launched to raise money for crowdsourced class topics.
- The International Money Fund (IMF) will offer two finance MOOCs through edX.v Brazil launched the first Latin American MOOCs, both in the sciences, notably. Trends to watch: continued emphasis on quantitative subjects; globalization.
- The freemium MOOC model expanded, as two Australian universities offered online classes in that mix of free content with for-fee assessment.
Academic unions criticizing deployment of technology. Florida’s faculty union successfully altered a pro-MOOC bill before that state’s legislature. The union of California’s public faculty issued a statement against San Jose State’s president’s embrace of MOOCs. A former AAUP president warned professors against losing intellectual property rights in MOOCs.
Open access possibilities. A group of scholarly publishers proposed a partnership to ease creation of open scholarship for federal requirement, to be called Chorus (Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States).
Automation’s promise. IBM is developing mobile device connections to Watson-driven applications. The VGo device lets home- or hospital-bound students participate in classes via a mobile, telepresence-equipped robot.
Onshoring. Google-owned Motorola will open a smartphone-manufacturing plant not in east Asia but in Texas.
Adjunctification continues. A group of Ohio public universities is exploring sharing information about adjuncts, in order to keep the latters’ hours down due to an interpretation of the Affordable Care Act. Two campuses used the lecturer category to make available to adjuncts a position with medical coverage.
The higher education bubble.
- The number of undergraduate students attending colleges and universities declined, slightly, for the third year in a row. Private institutions alone avoided a negative trajectory
- Student debt continued to loom as a major issue. The proportion of delinquent student loans increased. One poll found one-third of current undergraduates wishing they’d worked instead of attending school.
- Some campuses experiment with new measures to offset financial challenges. Reed College reached out to low-income prospective students by dropping its application fee. Georgia State trialed data-backed microgrants to support students falling just short of paying their bills.
Much thanks to Bryan for granting me permission to share these excerpts here on EmergingEdTech. I strongly encourage readers to sign up for this informative, timely newsletter, and to visit Bryan's Site and check out his blog posts.