The Future of Higher Education: Beyond the Campus — from iangardnergb.blogspot.com

“Lots and lots at the time being on the future of HE, especially in the UK due to the funding cuts, imminent election, etc. One of the latest reports is a joint one from JISC, SERF, EDUCAUSE and CAUDIT, showing many issues are not just affecting the UK.

Abstract:
Higher education’s purpose is to equip students for success in life—in the workplace, in communities, and in their personal lives. While this purpose may have remained constant for centuries, the world around colleges and universities is undergoing significant change. Higher education is under pressure to meet greater expectations, whether for student numbers, educational preparation, workforce needs, or economic development. Meanwhile, the resources available are likely to decline. New models, an intense focus on the student experience, and a drive for innovation and entrepreneurism will ensure that higher education continues to meet society’s needs. Information technology supports virtually every aspect of higher education, including finances, learning, research, security, and sustainability, and IT professionals need to understand the range of problems their institutions face so they apply IT where it brings greatest value. Creating this future will require collaboration across organizational and national boundaries, bringing together the collective intelligence of people from backgrounds including education, corporations, and government.

From DSC:
Many quotes jumped off of the pages of the report, but here’s one of them:

Higher education represents a complex, adaptive system that is influenced by larger societal trends and information technology. If higher education is adaptive, what will its future be?

A Better Way to Manage Knowledge

We give a lot of talks and presentations about the ways and places companies and their employees learn the fastest. We call these learning environments creation spaces — places where individuals and teams interact and collaborate within a broader learning ecology so that performance accelerates. During these discussions, it’s inevitable that somebody raises their hand. “Wait a minute,” they say, “isn’t this just knowledge management all over again?”

The New Reality: Constant Disruption

We now face something entirely different. Today’s core technologies–computing, storage, and bandwidth–are not stabilizing. They continue to evolve at an exponential rate. And because the underlying technologies don’t stabilize, the social and business practices that coalesce into our new digital infrastructure aren’t stabilizing either. Businesses and, more broadly, social, educational, and economic institutions, are left racing to catch up with the steadily improving performance of the foundational technologies. For example, almost forty years after the invention of the microprocessor, we are only now beginning to reconfigure the digital technology infrastructure for delivery of yet another dramatic leap in computing power under the rubric of utility or cloud computing. This leap will soon be followed by another, then another.

From DSC:As an educational technologist, I can instantly relate to the blazingly-fast speed they are referring to. The questions are:

  • How do we set up the best learning ecosystems given such rapid pace of technological change?
  • How long will those elements last (and/or what principles/tips/tricks can we employ to have things around long enough for a solid ROI)?
  • How do we best equip our students?

For one thing, we must all learn to be very, very flexible…and adaptive. Change truly is not an option if you want to be marketable and relevant. And, you MUST BE PLUGGED INto a network or networks.

Disruptive Innovation in the Classroom — from The Journal by Bridget McCrea
One expert discusses how disruptive innovations like online learning will change the way students learn and progress.

From DSC:
I am not sure we are fully appreciating the scope of the changes about to take place throughout higher education. If we look at what the Internet has done to other industries — and the corresponding (amazingly-short) timeframes it took to turn those industries on their heads — we will begin to have a better appreciation for the massive changes coming down the pike. When the iPod was introduced in October 2003, it didn’t take Apple long to completely dominate the music distribution business. Also, take a look at journalism and how quickly things have changed there (relatively speaking). I believe higher education is next. For more background on my stance on things, you might want to check out two pages/presentations:

  1. The Forthcoming Walmart of Education (Dec 2008):
    http://www.calvin.edu/~dsc8/walmartofeducation.htm
  2. A Potential Vision for the Future (Spring/ Summer 2008):
    http://www.calvin.edu/~dsc8/visions.htm

The future of higher education [UK] — from guardian.co.uk
An outward-looking forward-thinking summit stimulating debate and shaping thinking on rising to the challenges facing higher education.

The Guardian’s annual summit for higher education leaders returns for the fourth year with a new format and a new outlook. It will be taking place at the America Square Conference Centre, London. The combination of the fiscal crisis and imminent reductions in public service budgets coupled with significant changes in the demands faced by institutions means that the way forward for higher education has become increasingly contested. This year we will bring together higher education leaders for a series of debates that will explore future scenarios for the shape and structure of the sector. Led by key stakeholders and shaped by expert analysis the debates will be supplemented with in-depth panel discussion, focused breakout sessions and insightful keynotes.

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