I just returned from a beautiful week in my hometown of Denver, Colorado where I had the opportunity to attend the EDUCAUSE annual conference which covers IT, innovation, and trends in Higher Education.
The Big Blue Bear peering in to get a view of EDUCAUSE at the Colorado Convention Center
I talked with a number of Pearson customers on the exhibition floor and attended sessions related to innovation and disruption of higher education.
Information on the following sessions:
- IT as a Core Academic Competence
- Disrupting College
- MOOCs - The Coming Revolution
One thing was clear from all of these sessions, higher education is ripe for disruption. There have been many innovations that have occurred over the past couple of years, and there have been an absolute explosion of platforms offering access to the most prestigious universities in the United States, including the following: MIT Open Courseware, edX, Coursera, Udemy, MITx, iTunesU, UDACITY as well as many other sites that focus on niche subjects like Lynda and Code School.
These education platforms have seen staggering enrollment upwards of 100K for some classes, are integrating peer review, providing access and extending educational opportunities to top classes and instructors that were previously unavailable except to the elite students of those institutions. Each of the speakers talked a lot about these offerings, but no one has a crystal ball to suggest what the impact will be on higher education. Michael Horn believes higher ed platforms will have a significant impact on K-12 as students can now access world class college courses during high school rather than taking an AP class offered at their school. I am interested to see how higher ed institutions will adapt as the courses become common place on resumes and linkedin profiles as well as they receive increased acceptance from hiring institutions.