I received two articles from colleagues within 24 hours of each other. Each article was focused on future of education (and to be honest, more focused on the business of education) and the impact oft of new technology and new media.
The article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, What Colleges Should Learn From Newspapers’ Decline invites us to compare the present state of the newspaper publishing business with what could happen to colleges and universities. He writes of the newspaper business:
Much of what’s happening was predicted in the mid-1990s, when the World Wide Web burst onto the public consciousness. But people were also saying a lot of retrospectively ludicrous Internet-related things — e.g., that the business cycle had been abolished, and that vast profits could be made selling pet food online. Newspapers emerged from the dot-com bubble relatively unscathed and probably felt pretty good about their future. Now it turns out that the Internet bomb was real — it just had a 15-year fuse.
The other article is provocatively entitled: Universities will be ‘irrelevant’ by 2020, Y. professor says. The Professor who gave a talk at BYU is focused on and involved with the Open Education movement in general. This was an interesting quote:
Higher education doesn’t reflect the life that students are living, he says. In that life, information is available on demand, files are shared, and the world is mobile and connected. Today’s colleges, on the other hand, are typically “tethered, isolated, generic, and closed,” he says.
For me, I don’t think that there is any doubt that the business of education is changing and that many institutions will have to re-invent themselves to survive. But from an individual student’s point of view, these changes may well be great news — making education easier to get and more relevant to their lives.
It’s Friday and I’ll see you on the web!