My thoughts on the future of higher education -- March 2013 by Daniel Christian


Also, the PDF file of this article is here.


From DSC:
Though the title of this article I wrote says 10 years, it may be more or less (and given the pace of change, I would lean towards sooner rather than later).  

If you haven’t read Christensen’s/Horn’s/Johnson’s work re: disruption — such as Disrupting Class and/or The Innovator’s Dilemma — it would be worth your time to do so. They are right on the mark. What they have been asserting is happening within higher education.  The article briefly addresses face-to-face learning and hybrid learning as well.  Readers of this blog will know that I have been pressing for higher ed to reinvent itself in order to stay relevant. There is danger in the status quo, especially when the conversation continues to move away from traditional higher education.

See other perspectives out at as well.



The Master List of the Collaborative Economy: Rent and Trade Everything — from by Jeremiah Owyang


[Collaborative Economy Defined:  A digital system that manages the coordination of buyers and sellers who offer or exchange used products and remnant services]











From DSC:

  • Note the need for being tech-savvy here — the more familiarity our students have with videoconferencing, web-based collaborating tools, tapping into streams of content, etc., the better things will go for them in their future careers.
  • Note also the need for constant, lifelong learning. 
  • Note the possibility that we might be heading more towards online-based exchanges and marketplaces — and that includes teaching and learning.


The Power of Online Exchanges


Re: the idea of exchanges:

The power of the business matchmaker — from by John Hagel and John Seely Brown
Matchmakers can connect millions of people looking to pair talent with jobs, buyers with vendors, tenants with landlords, etc. The Fortune 500 should take note.

From DSC:
Makes me wonder how many MOOCs will morph into matchmakers…and I continue to wonder if the corporate world will develop/use their own MOOCs and use them as pre-screening/filtering mechanisms…


The Power of Online Exchanges -- graphic by Daniel Christian on 1/13/09


The Future of TV -- an infographic from Beesmart


From DSC:
The educational “store” part of this graphic could take several forms:

  • Online-based exchanges between buyers and sellers (teachers/professors and learners) — professors as their own brand
  • Institutional offerings/brands
  • Team-based content from newly-developed firms, organizations
  • Each of us puts up our own learning materials for others to take (for free or for a price)
  • Other


After hearing Sebastian Thrun’s keynote last week at the Sloan Consortium Conference on online learning — where he at one point alluded to the creation of “rockstar professors” arising from the current day MOOCs — and after reading the following item, I wonder…

…are we already owning our own personal brands more and more…?


Academia.Edu overhauls profiles as the onus falls on researchers to manage their personal brands — from by Kim-Mai Cutler


Kindergarten teacher earns $700,000 by selling lesson plans online — from by Zoe Fox


Teaching isn’t known to be a lucrative profession, but online marketplace Teachers Pay Teachers is changing that for some educators.

Deanna Jump, a kindergarten teacher from Georgia, has made $700,000 selling her lesson plans on Teachers Pay Teachers, an ecommerce startup where teachers offer their lesson plans to fellow educators.

From DSC:
I can just see the dust building in the air now — coming from the trails starting to be paved from a new, electronic version of the Gold Rush!   🙂



From DSC:
Not that this is anything new…but the business model/strategy that FiftyThree, Inc. is following with their Paper app is very intriguing to me (and caused me to reflect, again, on the changing business models within higher ed)

  1. People can obtain the basic app for free
    To get an idea of the basic interface & functionality.
  2. Additional functionality costs $
    People can purchase additional tools from the in-app store: such as Sketch, Write, Outline, and Color.

As I was reflecting on this business model, I wondered…will this be a part of our future educational marketplaces/exchanges? (and many others as well I suppose) already does something similar to this by providing prospective students with a few modules — for free — but then requires a subscription for accessing the rest of the content/modules.

So…what if a student could bop into a “class” to get a feel for what the content was like — and perhaps the instructor/professor as well — before they ante up for additional information/learning opportunities/content?


The potential of cloud-based education marketplaces — from (LifeLong Learning) by Daniel Christian; PDF-based version here


Such organizations are being impacted by a variety of emerging technologies and trends – two of which I want to highlight here are:

  • Online-based marketplaces – as hosted on “the cloud”
  • The convergence of the television, telephone, and the computer

One of the powerful things that the Internet provides is online-based marketplaces. Such exchanges connect buyers with sellers and vice versa. You see this occurring with offerings like Craig’s List, e-Bay,, and others.


From DSC:
Here are some items related to what I call “Learning from the Living Room” — a trend that continues to develop that involves:

  • Using high-end, personalized, multimedia-based, interactive, team-created content — packed with new reporting tools for better diagnostics/learning analytics — available via a cloud-based “education store”/marketplace/exchange
  • Web-accessible content that’s available 24x7x365
  • The power of social networks/learning
  • Riding the wave of the massive convergence of the computer, the telephone, and the television.


Smarter TV: Living room as digital hub from Samsung and Microsoft to Apple and Google — from by Tim Carmody
Excerpt (emphasis DSC):
  • In the future, the living room will replace the home office as most households’ home for the stationary personal computer. Instead of printers and mice and other corded accessories, networked appliances and post-PC machines share data with one another and with the cloud. Play and productivity both become decentered; gaming and entertainment might be on a tablet or a television, with recipes at the refrigerator, a shopping list for the smartphone, and an instructional video on the television set. All of these experiences will be coherent, continuous and contextual. And like the personal computer at the height of Pax Wintel, the living room will be a platform characterized by triumphant pluralism.“The thing about the living room is that it’s universal; everyone in the household uses it,” Samsung VP Eric Anderson told me at today’s event. “We know that we’re not going to capture every single member of the household. In my family, my wife and my daughter are Apple, me and my sons are Android,” he noted, pointing out that the majority of devices introduced today can interact with either mobile platform.


The modern mechanics of app stores: today, tomorrow and connected TV — from by Dean Johnson


What’s next for app stores?
It’s time for each platform to up its game – smart TVs are coming. The small and medium screen experience will shortly be translated to the bigger screen as connectivity and discoverability takes on even greater importance.

Google and Apple will further interweave themselves into our daily lives as iOS and Android seamlessly combine our smartphones and tablets with our new smartTVs. Electronic Program Guides (EPGs) and the programmes themselves will suggest related content, from apps to music to film to books. This must all be presented in an approachable, then browsable manner to encourage additional discovery.

The quest for the perfect meta-data will become increasingly important and voice commands will need to deliver the best search results with the minimum of fuss. This time next year, the battle of the app stores will be fought on the move, on the desktop and on the living room wall.


Samsung Launches Smart TVs With Gestures, Voice Control — from by Douglas Perry


A Kinect-like feature is made possible via camera and microphone integration that comes standard with the LED ES7500, LED ES8000 and Plasma E8000 models. According to Samsung, consumers can launch apps such as Facebook or YouTube, or search the web via voice commands. Waving the hand will move the cursor and select links. The TVs integrate a Samsung dual-core processor as well as a new Webkit-based web browser to improve overall performance. The high-end 7500 and 8000 TVs ship with a remote with an integrated touchscreen. A wireless keyboard that is compatible with Samsung’s TVs as well as the Galaxy Tab tablet is sold as an option.


New TV experiences through companion apps — from moxie pulse


When Ivory Towers Fall: The Emerging Education Marketplace — from The World Future Society by Thomas Frey


Throughout history, education has been formed around the concept of “place.”  Build fancy buildings, attract world-renowned scholars, and you have a college or university.  This model works well in a culture based on teaching. Over the coming years, with our hyper-connected world, we will be shifting to a learning model.  While “place” will still matter, it will matter differently. Teaching requires experts; learning only requires coaches.  The two primary variables of time and money will drive the new education marketplace, and the four primary trend lines will involve…

Addendum 3/9/12:

Online marketplace helps professors outsource their lab research — from The Chronicle by Alex Campbell


Jill Wykosky, a postdoctoral fellow at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, needed to make some antibodies, but she couldn’t do it all herself.

To help find a lab partner, she tried a new Web site called Science Exchange, posting an ad there saying she needed someone to make peptides to be used as “antigen for monoclonal antibody production.” Within a couple of days, she had bids from seven or eight companies.

Also see:

Tagged with: The Place to Buy and Sell Digital Content for Innovative Education — from; originally saw this at Audrey Watters blog

Excerpt from Audrey’s article:

Currix is launching its beta today, aiming to become a destination for teachers to discover just these sorts of resources. It’s also a marketplace for this content: teachers will be able to monetize the lessons, activities, logos and more that they upload there. The prices range from free to a few dollars for activities to up to several hundred dollars for entire courses.

Also see:



From DSC:
This reminds me of a graphic I periodically post:

The Power of Online Exchanges





Separate and unequal

Separate and unequal — from by Dan Berrett

NEW YORK — Higher education’s own hiring practices are undermining one of its chief selling points: that a college education fosters upward mobility, several speakers said here Tuesday at a conference on academic labor.

In particular, it is the condition of adjunct faculty members, which was the subject of several sessions of the annual meeting of the National Center for Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions, that casts the harshest light on the gap between academe’s aspirations and its actual conduct.

“In order to maintain faith with higher education, you have to be able to confront the idea that a high proportion of the most educated portion of the population is having trouble making ends meet,” said Alan Trevithick, founding member of the New Faculty Majority and an adjunct who teaches sociology at Fordham University and Westchester Community College, during a session entitled “Contingent Faculty: Issues at the Table.”

“The non-tenure-track faculty make the tenure-track research positions possible,” said Robert Samuels, a lecturer in the writing programs at the University of California at Los Angeles and president of the University Council, American Federation of Teachers. The adjunct faculty serve this enabling purpose in two ways, said Samuels: they assume much — and in many cases, the majority — of the teaching load, thus freeing up time for full-time faculty to do research; and their lesser salaries for teaching highly enrolled undergraduate courses also result in net revenues that essentially subsidize other, more costly work at the university.

From DSC:

It will be interesting to see how the developing online-based exchanges/marketplaces affect the professional adjunct faculty member — who may already be teaching at a variety of institutions at the same time. My guess would be that they will be well positioned to move into this developing new landscape — if this landscape continues to develop in that manner.

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