Michael Horn: Transforming Thomas Jefferson's successful education system

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What goes up...must come down -- by Daniel S. Christian

A perfect storm has been building within higher education. Numerous, powerful forces have been converging that either already are or soon will be impacting the way higher education is offered and experienced. This paper focuses on one of those forces – the increasing price tag of obtaining a degree within higher education.  It will seek to show that what goes up…must come down.  Some less expensive alternatives are already here today; but the most significant changes and market “corrections” appear to be right around the corner. That is, higher education is a bubble about to burst.

California Department of Education now on iTunes U — from edweek.org by Canan Tasci
Teachers can now download educational content from the Apple site at no charge

The California Department of Education is following in the footsteps of Texas by launching an official presence on iTunes U, a dedicated area within Apple Inc.’s iTunes store that offers free downloads of lectures, lab demos, and access to educational content from state agencies and nonprofit groups.

With districts and schools under tremendous pressure to make every dollar count, California teachers can now download top-rated content from the site at no charge, said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell.

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National Ed Tech Plan puts technology at the heart of education reform — from The Journal.com by David Nagel

United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today released the final version of the Obama administration’s National Educational Technology Plan (NETP), a federal policy statement that puts technology at the heart of proposed changes to the way education is delivered in this country.


Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2010: Final list, presentation and more — from Jane Knight

Yesterday I finalised the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2010 list.  Many thanks to the 545 people who shared their Top 10 Tools for Learning and contributed to the building of the list.   Although this list is available online, I also created this presentation which provides the information as a slideset – embedded below.

My Photo

Jane Hart, a Social Business Consultant, and founder
of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies.

The new poor

My thanks to Mr. Joseph Byerwalter for this item

The world changed, colleges missed it — from edreformer.com by Tom Vander Ark

A bunch of colleges are going out of business, only they don’t know it. They pretend that trimming costs and jacking tuition is a solution.  They haven’t come to terms with a world where anyone can learn anything almost anywhere for free or cheap. Art Levine, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, sees three major change forces: new competition, a convergence of knowledge producers, and changing demographics.

To Art’s list of three big change forces, add shrinking government support, the press for more accountability, and emerging technology…the next few decades will be marked by a lumpy move to competency-based learninginstant information and the ability to learn anything anywhere.

The shift to personal digital learning is on.  Some colleges get that.  Others will seek bailouts until they go out of business.  Working adults are getting smart on their own terms.


From DSC:
Time will tell if Tom’s assertions are too harsh here, but personally, I think he’s right.

I have it that:

  • There is a bubble in higher ed
  • There also exists a perfect storm that’s been forming for years within higher ed and the waves are cresting
    .The perfect storm in higher ed -- by Daniel S. Christian

  • Institutions of higher education need to check themselves before they become the next Blockbuster
    .Do not underestimate the disruptive impact of technology -- June 2009

  • We must not discount the disruptive powers of technology nor the trends taking place today (for a list of some of these trends, see the work of Gary Marx, as well as Yankelovish’s (2005) Ferment and Change: Higher Education in 2015)
  • Innovation is not an option for those who want to survive and thrive in the future.

Specifically, I have it that we should be experimenting with:

  • Significantly lowering the price of getting an education (by 50%+)
  • Providing greater access (worldwide)
  • Offering content in as many different ways as we can afford to produce
  • Seeking to provide interactive, multimedia-based content that is created by teams of specialists — for anytime, anywhere, on any-device type of learning (24x7x365)at any pace!
  • “Breaking down the walls” of the physical classroom
  • Pooling resources and creating consortiums
  • Reflecting on what it will mean if online-based exchanges are setup to help folks develop competencies
  • Working to change our cultures to be more willing to innovate and change
  • Thinking about how to become more nimble as organizations
  • Turning more control over to individual learner and having them create the content
  • Creating and implementing more cross-disciplinary assignments



What will universities of the future be like? — from bbc.co.uk by Hannah Richardson BBC News education reporter

It’s the end of your shift, you dash for the train and switch on your mobile phone as you find yourself a seat.

You log into your degree course learning zone and discover you’ve been set a tough assignment. You download some key text books from the online university library and begin swotting.

While fellow commuters bury their heads in the Metro, you get some tips from course mates through an online forum.

By the time you reach your stop you have tapped out an essay plan on your smartphone.

Is this the university experience of the future? For an increasing number of students it’s happening now.

And with the cost of university set to rise considerably, many more are likely to study for their degrees in cheaper, more flexible ways – perhaps through digitally-based distance learning providers.

‘Mortgage-sized debts’

This is the view of the vice-chancellors’ body, Universities UK, which warns that as public funding contracts, the traditional residential university experience could become the preserve of an elite.

White House Summit touches on K-12, college link — from edweek.org by Caralee Adams

Buoyed by White House attention to the importance—and needs—of community colleges, some in the K-12 community are waiting to see if that spotlight will generate momentum for improved college readiness and better alignment of high schools with higher education.

This week’s White House Community College Summit was largely a symbolic event drawing about 150 leaders in education, business, and philanthropy and aimed at focusing attention on what is often labeled an undervalued sector of higher education.

But while the summit produced no big policy recommendations, the issues of high school preparation and college access hovered in the background as participants broke up into working groups after opening remarks by President Barack Obama.

More here…


From DSC:
Some might look at what I cover in the Learning Ecosystem blog and comment, “What the heck is he doing? He can’t know everything about the teaching and learning worlds within the K-12, college, and the corporate training spaces!”  And they would be right. But I don’t base my work here on myself.  As a regular follower of this blog would know, I look to the expertise of others.  While I will often interject my own thoughts and contributions here, I try to aggregate the valuable experiences and insights of others.

Along these lines, I want to interject that those of us in higher ed need to be very aware of what’s happening in K-12. Students’ expectations are the key items to note here. Graduates from high school will come to our doors (physical and virtual) with a set of expectations and skill sets. To me, these expectations seem to be changing. We must meet them where they are at.

So this item caught my attention. More later…

What it will really mean to “put children first”– Reflections on NBC’s Education Nation — from HuffingtonPost.com by Ellen Galinsky


Many of this nation’s movers and shakers in education gathered this last week of September in New York City for two days of discussion at a unique event convened and broadcast by NBC News. The purpose of calling upon these thought leaders–including the President, the Secretary of Education, select members of Congress, mayors, superintendents of schools, union leaders, academics, reformers, teachers, parents, and students–was to profile the problems in education and spotlight what works.

In many ways, this gathering was more coherent than I expected. I came to think of it as a song with many verses, but one recurring refrain. That refrain was that the U.S. has dropped to number 25 in educational achievement in the world. Yes, the U.S. is now Number 25! And despite increasing per pupil expenditure, and despite the No Child Left Behind Act, achievement scores in the United States have remained flat.

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Item for the economics majors out there…

From DSC:
I took a class from Professor Hubbard back in the day at NU…and from Charlie Calomiris (hello to you both if you’re out there and ever see this posting!)  Here’s the prof years later…

Glenn Hubbard -- U.S. at a tipping point, economically-speaking

— originally from DeansTalk.net

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Price of attendance and degrees conferred (PDF) — from The National Center for Education Statistics via Academic Impressions

The National Center for Education Statistics has issued this report detailing trends in enrollment, tuition increases, and degrees conferred, based on IPEDS data.

Price of attendance and degrees conferred

From DSC:

Here in the United States, the waste continues…

As I was reading the article mentioned below, I was reminded of a graphic I saw a while back after the April 20 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion:



Oil spill -- day 53!


This graphic reminds me of a very valuable resource that still isn’t being “realized” — and, as a result, the leakage continues to cause a mess. And that has to do with the amazing amount of talents, abilities, and gifts that are being wasted daily when students drop out of school or college.

So I appreciated hearing about what some of the community colleges are doing to try to “cap the spill” — to stop this waste of talent.

We must help students find and develop their passions. Should we look at changing some of the requirements/curriculums out there? If an emphasis on STEM isn’t working, is it time to try something else like arts, music, game design, shop/woodworking, automotive work, or something else that many of these same students might be more passionate about?

Addendum 4/5/11:

Also see:

Community Colleges Get Creative With Remedial Education — from edweek.org by Caralee Adams

Record numbers of students are arriving on community college campuses this fall, but a majority of them—nearly 60 percent—aren’t academically prepared to handle the classwork.

Three out of every five community college students need at least one remedial course, and fewer than 25 percent of those students successfully earn a degree within eight years, according to the National Education Longitudinal Study.

“We really have to figure out how to get developmental education right, or any dream that we have of increasing the number of college graduates in this country or eliminating disparities across racial and ethnic groups—that dream is going to tank,” said Kay McClenney, the director of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement and an adjunct faculty member in the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas at Austin.

Pushed by federal expectations, tightening budgets, expanding enrollments, and what the foundation-supported Strong American Schools campaign estimatedRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader  to be a $2 billion-and-rising annual cost for remedial education, community colleges have started experimenting with a range of strategies to address those numbers.


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