Educational technologies and the changing role of universities or colleges Robyn williams:Universities have been in existence for nearly a thousand years, usually with different sage on a stage, informing you what’s what.The sage were built with a beard, and what it’s all about was usually unvaried.Historic same lecture in 2012 as he gave in 1952.And then, prefer it or not, change is around.Here’s mentor jim barber, vice chancellor at the collage of new england in armidale, nsw. Humble barber:When i first began having a debate about online learning around 10 years ago now, my views were not particularly debatable, a few polite questions below, some sort of half hearted clapping, that concerned it.Maybe that’s because the only people who showed up to such forums then were like minded individuals and it geeks dressed in metallica t shirts.But things have certainly changed in the past decades.These types of, whenever i speak or write about online learning there’s always someone in the audience who takes offence because they interpret my views as an attack on their professionalism and trust or competence. I take this as evidence that online learning has now achieved the status of a disruptive engineering.The term disruptive technology was first coined by joseph bower and clayton christensen some 15 years ago in a paper entitled disruptive technology:Holding the wave.The first they call ‘sustaining innovation’ which is one produces familiar things bigger or better.Among their reviews are aeroplanes that fly further, laptops or laptop or computer systems that process faster, cell phones that last longer and televisions with clearer images all useful advances to be sure, but don’t game changers.A disruptive innovation in contrast upsets the steady refinement of a familiar product by bringing to market something is initially not as good as the best existing technology, but cost less and easier to use and in some important respect a radical departure in thinking. Disruptive innovations normally start out as a boon to non consumers of a service or product.Established providers are able to ignore the innovation because their existing clientele are not all that interested but as the disruptive innovation improves through the process of sustaining innovations it’s going to become a threat to them. For example consider what toyota did to general motors in the 1970s and ’80s.Toyota entered the american mid size car market in the 1960s from the toyota corona.This car was smaller and cheaper than most in the us market preferred during the time, so ordinary motors didn’t take much notice of it.Indeed american car manufacturers generally considered economy cars to be a beginner product of dubious quality. As a consequence toyota had very little competition and plenty of time to improve on its corona through various sustaining innovations as well as to realize the even smaller toyota corolla.Gradually consumers came to accept toyotas as something as good as downmarket apery and when the world was shaken by the oil crisis in 1973 toyota suddenly had the whip hand. By the point general motors got around to responding it was much too late;Toyota had tied up the small car market and consumers in the us were looking toward them in droves.These people, toyota has since used its capital success to turn the tables on general motors and push into its luxury car market with the toyota lexus. In the old times of online learning those of us involved in it were definitely driving toyotas.I’d be the first to admit that the quality of my first online course in 1999 was inferior to the face to face version that i provided to students who preferred to study in the larger format.My online younger generation were, and to lots of extent still are, the ‘non customers’ christensen refers to:Single moms, trades-People, carers, people with ailments and, actually, the particular indolent. But even then it should have been clear to us that universities were handling a disruptive technology.From outset, education via the internet presented universities or colleges with three significant advances any one of which was sufficient to alter the way education was conducted but when combined as they soon were, sowed the seeds of the emerging trend that is now upon us.First, the internet provided educators web site extend their reach globally.Second, it provided access to what is now a vast ocean of the very most latest information.Additionally third, with the advent of web2 technologies around the turn of the century the internet began use a medium, and for many now the preferred medium for getting together with friends and others with whom they share interests. This last achievement was the critical but missing ingredient in online learning in my day and with its resolution in the last decade or so e learning is really able to cross the education’s equivalent of the rubicon.Ever since social networking exploded online online educators have had the capacity to provide the kind of scholarly interchange that has traditionally been the major selling point of campus life. But there’s one last hurdle for this country to clear before the revolution can really begin here broadband.Up to now download speeds have constrained our imagination but that will all change when educators begin to exploit the strength of broadband.The nbn will position us to provide the identical student experience no matter whether students are in class, from home, or somewhere else they can get a connection.With the nbn there will almost be no activity that is currently conducted in class or even in labs that cannot also be conducted from home.Of course there’s always some training such as in medical procedures that require a student’s physical presence somewhere and, to be honest, precise favoured student activities that simply can’t be performed online, but the range of these activities will become narrower as the bandwidth offered to us becomes broader. And there’s a a very compelling force pushing education into cyberspace money.As the world teeters on the edge of another financial meltdown it is instructive to reflect on what happened to higher education in the usa following the 2008 global financial crises.Because countless united states’ finest universities relied so heavily on endowment revenues, the gfc hit them in a manner that australia was spared.Harvard university’s endowment dropped from $37 billion to $26 billion in one year, reducing their doing business revenues by around a third, forcing them to defer major capital works and slash costs anyplace. As the big end of town was haemorrhaging like this, online offerings grew in marketability.The same downturn that knocked the wind out of the standard universities filled the sails of the online providers.The university of phoenix as an example increased its revenues by 50% from $2.5 billion dollars in 2007 to $3.8 billion dollars in 2009.In the coming years, traditional universities will find it increasingly difficult to compete with new institutions that is able to invest in content without the labour and capital intensive overheads that grind universities down.Not only do lecture theatres and tute rooms cost a small fortune to build and maintain, but the resources required to produce world class research make it increasingly difficult to be able to teach undergraduates at a reasonable cost.On the flip side, the growing numbers of online universities the toyotas of the marketplace, have no buildings in order to keep and no high cost researchers to support. It’s sometimes argued that online learning has a medical history of over promising and under delivering, that notwithstanding all the hype, learning and teaching has actually changed very little since the advent of the personal computer and the internet.This can be true, but those who make this point forget that the internet became commercially accessible less than 30 years ago.It took the printing press a heck of considerably longer than that to create a literate society and to give us the reformation, but no historian seriously doubts that either social movement could have occurred without one.In any case, much progress has been produced in those 30 years and with the arrival of broadband, the last of the technical constraints holding us back will be wiped away.All that is still are some stubborn social obstacles but they too are living on borrowed time.The first is what christensen has called ‘the power of prestige’ that without objective measures of what universities do for their students, the most prestigious foundations, the general motors colleges or universities if you like, have entry running.Because they’ve been admired in the past whatever they are doing now is presumed to be the best there is.Certification gatekeepers have reinforced this view by imposing input standards governing curricula, facilities and staffing that tend to be at loggerheads with internet learning.Gatekeeper organisations like the recently established tertiary education quality and standards agency are dominated by apologists for traditional universities who raised and conduct the reviews.On those grounds, conformity to tradition becomes the price of participation in the.And then either the lack of a disruptive pedagogy to match the technology.Since the time educational facilities first began herding students into lecture theatres, some of the model, talks, series, textbooks and examinations has remained pretty very similar.This is slowly beginning to change and that change will accelerate when broadband is put to a generation brought up on facebook, youtube combined with wikipedia. In the future gone will be the need for what we might call broadcast teaching.The archetypal form of that may, you should, the session, where the teacher stands as you’re watching class and broadcasts the same information to everyone in the room.This form of teaching has stopped being required.Not only is there infinitely more information available in cyberspace but from the driver’s actions is customisable to individual students, so that the one class of students can arrive at the same destination via varies greatly routes depending on their academic background, skills and taste.Moreover, the enormous appeal of wikipedia demonstrates the need for education to move beyond the transmission of knowledge to provide its creation and re creation by students themselves.In today’s culture students expect to be the main educational process, not only consumers of it.This is unfamiliar territory for academics of my generation who were raised on the notion that only professionals create knowledge.But wikipedia, wikipedia and blogging have radically undermined this assumption because all consist of info that is created by, not just communicated to avid gamers.The acts of learning and teaching have become blurred as a consequence.Lots of people of social networking and increased bandwidth also means that there will soon be no distinction between online and face to face communication.Indeed this generation of young people has all but given up on the excellence already.When young people text one another or post on facebook they don’t think privately”Now i’m leaving real life and going into the virtual world, to teenagers it’s all one, how all the companies meet, they twitter update, they load video, they post on facebook and they share the most intimate information regarding themselves with friends, some of whom they may have not even met. In her confronting introduction to a us department of education report on the future of advanced schooling, education admin margaret spellings wrote that: “What we have learned over the last year makes clear that american degree has become what, in the corporate world, would be called a mature internet business:More risk averse, at times self completely happy and unduly expensive.It is an enterprise that has yet to address education issues of how academic programs and institutions must be transformed to serve the changing educational needs of a knowledge economy.History is plagued by examples of industries that, at that peril, failed to respond or even to notice change in today’s world around them, from railroads to steel brandnames.Without serious self examination and reform institutions of degree risk falling into the same trap, seeing their market share drastically reduced and their services increasingly characterised by obsolescence, In his research clayton christensen found that disruptive inventions rarely come out of established enterprises.Even when a truly new way of doing things occurs to someone in a conventional organisation, based systems and standards take over and the idea is quashed.A new idea that isn’t dismissed entirely is almost inevitably modified to fit the Polo Ralph Lauren UK Outlet way things are properly done, losing its innovation impact using this method.Pertaining to he’s wrong;Universities must surely be among the finest institutions that societies have created.My own hope is that traditional universities can rise to the battle from cyberspace before a new generation of online alternatives leaves them stranded. Robyn williams:The shape of tertiary ideas to come.Professor jim barber is vice chancellor at the college or higher education of new england. A few weeks:A rhodes scholar who went to one of the world’s oldest colleges oxford.Eric dark night on reframing, how to solve the earth’s trickiest problems more innovation. 15 rate of interest 2012 1:05:10pm It’s refreshing to to hear a leader of a present”Mature small business”Entity recognise and proactively embrace the arrival disruptive changes that are surely ahead for tertiary education.The development of the types of ‘game changing’ technologies to which prof.Barber introduced(The produce press, as an example)Led to tremendous upheaval for a protracted stretch of time.We tend to forget that Cheap Ralph Lauren UK in our human tendency to break down decades when viewing through lenses to see the only the change highlights.A real question will arise as we have trouible with the compressed version of this progression through disruptive change as the postion we have crumbles and the forks in the road ahead are obscure and uncertain.What degree of ambiguity risk are we prepared tolerate as we forge ahead, since forge ahead we? The only options seem to be allowing and cultivating widespread divergent ‘experiments’ to flourish so we have data derived from examples distinct paths.We musthave faith in ourselves that if we are trying different alternatives for learning, when they might not all achieve desired outcomes equally well, neither can they be calamitous.Inquiring learners together with good academics and supportive staff will mitigate disasters even if results are now and again uneven.Remember fondly the baseline from which we’re departing of monotonous lecture and general disengagement.We must do better. Times ahead have the prospect to radically restructure learning institutions.I tend to be biased toward more hybrid rather than purely distance models of new learning environments with the human need for rich face to face social interaction, even in scholarly hobbies.But the days of broadcast passive learning where achievement is measured more by endurance than showcase competence can’t end soon enough.I look forward eagerly to the have fun that prof.Barber his colleagues take on. 26 april 2012 12:06:43am Professional medical a universal truth, some lectures may be monotonous but many are revitalizing and rewarding.Good learning design and webinar ability is an art that not all lecturers have.I have been teaching fully online via a dominantly asynchronous dialogic pedagogy for over a decade and most students flourish although they never meet f2f collectively or their tutors until graduation day.Student satisfaction is higher than many campus based courses and has been so for a long time.We have had more than a few students tell us they are addicted to the social networks i have never heard one say that about f2f provision.