The music industry has continued to reel from decreasing physical media sales (CD)’s and an increasing move to online music.
With their online library of over 2,700 educational how-to videos, Khan Academy has Bill Gates raving and educational thought leaders criticizing and sites like educreations making the Khan-esque screencast easily available for teachers to create and upload from their computer or ipad. Whatever you think, Khan’s 100 million views certainly show there is a demand.
Meanwhile, students are evaluating more than the academic rigor of a university with 60% of them saying they won’t attend a campus without free wifi.
But will students need a physical university at all? In addition to their Open Courseware, MIT will begin offering pay-for certificates through MITx with NO admission requirements (only payment for the certificate.) Making us wonder if our kids can attend our high schools and MIT at the same time. Then, there is the Digital Media and Learning’s competition for the Open Badges for Lifelong Learning competition that aims to help us all be able to earn badges to show mastery. Could the badges on our profile become more important than the diplomas on our wall?
Learning is less about a period in one’s life than not putting a period at the end of the learning in your life when you turn 22.
The most important location for universities is no longer the physical plant but the online presence. The same for high schools if they’d only wake up to a generation that a US nation-wide study calls Enabled, Engaged and Empowered.
K12 are seeing it too with the homeschool movement being as much about virtual learning and flexible days as it is about learning at home per se.
Anywhere, anytime learning is putting it mildly with research showing improvement in learning via cell phone tutorials. Meanwhile, even with nationwide clearing houses aggregating data on “what works” most “research studies on the effectiveness of technology are funded by the companies selling the products and known to be full of misrepresentation. This would be like letting McDonald’s employed food critics rate the quality of their greasy fries. (Can you really trust that study that 5th graders knowledge of fractions increased 15% after playing an ipad game for a week?) The fact is that many people want the educational silver bullet that will make learning easy and kill boredom.
Teachers continue to be the preferred pinata for blaming educational problems when in fact, their degrees don’t allow them to easily move from state to state and national board certification numbers remain at only 3% of the national teaching force. Others point out how income and parental education is more highly linked to a child’s success (or failure) making poverty the culprit.
As schools become producers of content, legislation like SOPA, if poorly implemented could easily negate any claims of fair use. Ripples of contention about who owns student created intellectual property have just begun to surface with most universities taking the clear line that if something is developed for a class it belongs to the university (causing some to spurn university-promoted app competitions.)
Educational apps and 1:1 ipad programs are booming with app companies finally realizing that a link between parent and child should be created between app game play and feedback to parents. (Teachers need this link too.)