The VPM Blog

Year-End Innovation in Higher Education

Posted by admin on Dec 19, 2012 5:11:44 AM

The last of our University contacts are trickling out the door and the office is quiet (a rogue winter bug is picking off team members in 24-hour spurts)! Foregoing a meatier preface, here is a brief round up of current events and news for our friends in higher education…

Much Ado About MOOCs

You better use the holidays to reset your capacity to hear, discuss and process the impact of MOOCs on higher education. If you thought it was a hot-button issue in 2012, just wait until the New Year. With these massive online open courses gathering steam and legitimacy, some thoughtful writing is starting to spill forth on the real potential and utility for these learning models. Doug Guthrie, the Dean for George Washington’s School of Business explains:

Why should we be impressed that an online course can reach 100,000 students at once? By celebrating massification, advocates of Coursera elevate volume as the chief objective of online learning. Is that truly our goal in academe?

Interactivity and customization are the fundamental advantages of online education. By using technology, we can bridge geographic divides while creating a continuing learning relationship between faculty and students, students and students, and students and the greater society.

Our goal should be to design a customized program that matches technology with a student's day-to-day objectives, not just course objectives or weekly learning objectives. We need to operate on a small scale where the online course or program is calibrated to meet the need of the individual student. –Dean Doug Guthrie

Sounds very similar to your brick-and-mortar classrooms! We agree with Dean Guthrie; university and college administrators need to be giving thought (and allocating appropriate budgets) to an effective online strategy that serves the greater purpose of the school.

Math Nerds, Technicolor Has Arrived!

I, personally, can’t remember the last time I used a calculator that wasn’t an application within my smart-phone or computer. However, I realize graphing calculators still have quite a bit of utility for serious mathematicians, physicists and high school calculus students around the country. So, I’d imagine this is big news – and a long time coming:

TI-84, color

The TI-84 is now available in color! I suppose things do move a bit slower in Texas and in education.

Better Keep Up…

Color is a nice touch but it’s going to take way more than that to keep up with technology in the next five years. Innovations with mobile technology, computing, hardware and artificial intelligence are accelerating at ridiculous rates. IBM just released their list of the top five innovations to watch for in the next five years… but to boil it down to just one: watch out for sense-focused tech (touch, sight, sound, taste and smell).

As instructors and educators, what will you do with that a new multi-sensory toolset?
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Author: is Head of Ops & Co-Creative at Verge Pipe Media. Verge Pipe Media assists public institutions, enterprises and the non-profit sector with Imaginative Inbound Marketing strategies + campaigns. We also have a development team chock full of Marvelous Mobile Migrators, poised to help transition our clients into a mobile + social world with custom software, iOS and Android mobile apps.

Topics: higher education

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