My comments on Online Education Will Be the Next ‘Bubble’ To Pop, Not Traditional University Learning — from Forbes.com by John Tamny

From a 50,000 foot level…
There is little question that higher education is a bubble. With the hollowing out of the middle class, and the vast majority of the nation’s wealth going to the top 1-5%, how does one think that the average person will be able to afford higher education in 5-10 years (given the current trajectories of decreasing incomes yet increasing costs of higher education)?  Many can’t afford it *now*, even when they want to send their kids to college.

Given the status quo and the current trajectories, things don’t look good at all.  I strongly disagree with that article/piece — and my guess would be that the author of the piece:

  • Is pulling down a decent size salary and he doesn’t have to live from paycheck to paycheck — i.e. he doesn’t have to worry about where his next meal is coming from
  • Is a proponent of the current status quo
  • Has likely never taught online (or hasn’t for very long)
  • Hasn’t caught the vision of what MOOCs could morph into if something like IBM’s Watson, Apple’s Siri, or Google Now gets baked into the recipe
  • Doesn’t understand that those who thrive in the online learning world have to be highly-disciplined — i.e. they are the type of person who fits the often asked for “self starter” and the type of employee corporations love because they don’t have to supervise them much

But when parents spend a fortune on their children’s schooling they’re not buying education; rather they’re buying the ‘right’ friends for them, the right contacts for the future, access to the right husbands and wives, not to mention buying their own (‘Our son goes to Williams College’) status.

This may be true. But even the 1% will change their perspectives if employers start picking their talent primarily from predominantly online-based programs.  If Christensen and Horn are correct (which I believe they are), the innovations in the online world will continue to outpace innovations in the face-to-face world. Given time, the online-based programs could be mind-blowing. (That said, I still think blended learning is the most effective choice, as it combines the best of both worlds).

But the bottom line here is that for most Americans, there had ***better be*** a higher education bubble!!!

Then globalization and the Internet changed everything. Customers suddenly had real choices, access to instant reliable information and the ability to communicate with each other. Power in the marketplace shifted from seller to buyer. Customers started insisting on ‘better, cheaper, quicker and smaller,’ along with ‘more convenient, reliable and personalized.’ Continuous, even transformational, innovation have become requirements for survival.”

Steve Denning, “The Management Revolution That’s Already Happening,”
Forbes Magazine, May 30, 2013.

 

 

ChangeIsOptionalDanielChristian-evolllutionDotcom-June2013

 

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PDF of article here

 

 

A trillion dollar anvil dragging us down — from CNN.com by Van Jones

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

(CNN) — The student debt fight is back — with a vengeance.

Once again, current students are facing the possibility of interest rates on Stafford Federal student loans doubling.

A few weeks ago, Warren, D-Massachusetts, proposed groundbreaking legislation that would give students the same deal that big Wall Street banks get. This bill is good policy, and even better politics.

After all, why are we loaning money to mega-profitable international financial institutions at 0.75%, but demanding up to nine times more from our own young people?

The New ‘New Normal’ — by Kevin Kiley

Excerpt:

Mandatory tuition and fees at the University of California system have about doubled since 2007, but this year, if the state’s governor has his way, they will stay flat.

And the University of California is far from alone. Purdue University is freezing tuition for the first time since 1976. Iowa’s three universities will also probably hold tuition prices constant for the first time in more than 30 years.

 

From DSC:
Institutions of higher education seem to have been priding themselves on smaller tuition increases these last few years — while I’ve been disappointed that they rose at all!  In fact it should have gone in the other direction — i.e. price decreases.  Time will tell whether it’s too little too late; but tuition freezes may not prevent the alternatives from taking over now.

 

 

 

Michigan district fires all teachers, closes every school — from takepart.com by Suzi Parker
A funding crisis caused the Buena Vista School District to close its schools for the rest of the year—and perhaps permanently.

 

From DSC:
This is not right.

If the State of Michigan can’t resolve this…
I hope that a corporation or two — or a major philanthropist or two — steps in here to insure that all these students have Internet access. Then provide/allow these students to go online.  Let these students take any class that they want to — and help them enjoy learning as much as possible. They will learn things along the way — without even knowing that they are learning (along the lines of what Sugata Mitra has been saying).

Are there issues with this idea? You bet. I can think of several off the top of my head:

  • Parents out at work, kids at home…
  • Online learning works best with disciplined students…
  • The students may take courses that are not STEM-related
    (However, if they are interested in another discipline or topic, these things could be brought into their learning along the way.)
  • The students may not take courses related to the Common Core standards
    (However, this is not a big concern for me; as pounding everyone into a similar “mold” goes against the reality that each of us is different.  We each have different gifts, skills, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, passions, interests, and preferences.)

But we’ve let these kids down — and make no mistake, we will all pay the price for this type of thing — one way or another. We need to help these kids discover the joy of learning…before it’s too late. 

  

 

 

 

 

 


From DSC:
It seems that
The Walmart of Education has officially arrived — i.e. a 50%+ discount off normal prices!  A $7000 Masters in Computer Science! 

Are we going to see more partnerships/collaborations like this involving MOOC providers, more “traditional” institutions of Higher Education, as well as the corporate world?

Are we moving more towards the use of teams and consortia and pooling resources?

Are we witnessing the beginning of a more accessible infrastructure to support lifelong learning? 

Is AT&T going to hire the top performers?


Georgia Tech announces Massive Online Master’s Degree in Computer Science — from online.wsj.com
Institute teams with Udacity, AT&T to launch first-of-its-kind advanced degree program

Excerpt:

ATLANTA, May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computing announced today that it will offer the first professional Online Master of Science degree in computer science (OMS CS) that can be earned completely through the “massive online” format. The degree will be provided in collaboration with online education leader Udacity Inc. and AT&T.

All OMS CS course content will be delivered via the massive open online course (MOOC) format, with enhanced support services for students enrolled in the degree program. Those students also will pay a fraction of the cost of traditional on-campus master’s programs; total tuition for the program is initially expected to be below $7,000. A pilot program, partly supported by a generous gift from AT&T, will begin in the next academic year. Initial enrollment will be limited to a few hundred students recruited from AT&T and Georgia Tech corporate affiliates. Enrollment is expected to expand gradually over the next three years.

 

Massive (but not open) — from InsideHigherEd.com by Ry Rivard

Excerpt:

The Georgia Institute of Technology plans to offer a $7,000 online master’s degree to 10,000 new students over the next three years without hiring much more than a handful of new instructors.

Georgia Tech will work with AT&T and Udacity, the 15-month-old Silicon Valley-based company, to offer a new online master’s degree in computer science to students across the world at a sixth of the price of its current degree. The deal, announced Tuesday, is portrayed as a revolutionary attempt by a respected university, an education technology startup and a major corporate employer to drive down costs and expand higher education capacity.

 

Georgia Tech, Udacity to offer Master’s Degree — from edsurge.com

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

WHOA. Georgia Tech and Udacity today said that they would jointly offer an entirely online master’s degree in computer science with support from AT&T for less than $7,000, total.

That’s a game-changer.

STEM cloud pilot could level technology playing field — from by Tanya Roscorla

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Because of differences in lower-income and higher-income schools in Maryland’s Prince George’s County, not every student has access to identical technology — and both government and education leaders are working to change that by partnering with the private sector on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and communication pilot in the cloud.

The county’s IT office and school system worked with the Maryland-based company Lockheed Martin to tackle this unequal access challenge creatively, something that the global security and aerospace company does for a living, said Vennard Wright, director of the Office of Information Technology and CIO for the county. This is the first step in the county’s quest to work with industry on different problems.

 

 

Tagged with:  
Traditional institutions will close, number of colleges and universities will rise (audio and transcript) — from evoLLLution.com (where LLL stands for lifelong learning) by Richard DeMillo | Director of the Center for 21st Century Universities, Georgia Institute of Technology
Excerpt (emphasis DSC):
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Well, for me, it always boils down to value. People misunderstand this as assigning value based on salaries or employability, but I mean value in the larger sense. You have to have a reason to ask students to pay more than the marginal costs of delivering education. And with all these revolutions in technology for course delivery, that marginal cost is going to zero very, very quickly [think journalism]. So, every institution that’s going to survive, I think, over the next 50 years, is going to have to make that case. Why is it that tuition at this institution is justified?

The interesting thing about this is it’s going to be accelerated because the old bureaucracies, the old institutional models… are crumbling. At least, their boundaries are crumbling. Let me tell you what I mean by that.

The accrediting agencies, which I think traditionally have had — at least for the last 120 years or so—an institutional focus, are now shifting their focus to students; to competencies, to demonstrations of what students know. And that really starts to cut against institutional entitlement.

I think the conclusion of all this is that, as it becomes harder and harder for… a “Me-Too Institution” to argue for a marginal increase in price, the amount of money that those institutions are going to have available to them to spend on anything but core mission for students is also going to go to zero. So, this is kind of a virtuous cycle; … institutions that are unable to make the value proposition will find themselves more and more strapped for discretionary funds in order to move themselves into a different space. And that’s an ending that’s not very good for most institutions.

From DSC:
How will our/your organization keep from becoming a commodity?  What are we/you all going to bring to the table that’s different, unique, and worth paying for?

 

WalmartOfEducation-Christian2008

 

 

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