Recognizing the Trends Transforming Education

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Presented by Simon Anderson of on October 3rd, 2014 at Wake Tech’s main campus.

Recognizing the Trends Transforming Education

Supercomputer Watson vs. All-time champions of jeopardy. Three years before Watson was built, he was a computer the size of a room. A Computer the size of a room can now be fit into the space of 3 pizza boxes. Watson is now connected to recipe making, smartphone connections, and things beyond.

Futurists look to the future, but are not soothsayers. We looked at some futurist fails. The best year for revenue in paper advertisers had best year in 2005, but fell off the cliff in 2007. In less than 10 years, a 1000 fold increase in capacity for phone chips. Self driving cars are available now, but ten years ago it was a dream. 1 year ago, the computer for a self-driving car took the entire trunk. Now its the size of a CD player.

Take a look at St. Peter’s square 2005 to 2013. Spot the difference? What will it look like in the future?

The concept to remember is UNLEARNING

“The illiterate of the 21st centurey will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
Alvin Toffler

Trends in learning, education, emerging trends. What’s driving these changes?

Old school had all people in same class learning same thing in the same pace. a 19th century prussian model- a uniform, industrial age worker being created. Some people wonder “why doesn’t this count for something?” The worst thinkig of the prussian model, is that the focus is to receive a 70%. The focus is on learning, but not understanding or retention.

Read the One World School House by Salman Khan

The problem of the future is that never ending growth is not sustainable. A 5-year approval model in 4-year schools puts materials directly out of date when first implemented. The biggest threat to working in colleges is that the school is adapted for an environment that no longer exists.

Community colleges can be dynamic and fast-changing. The approach that can count is hard-trend and soft-trend mapping. Rather than the slow-changing approach of a 4-year school, a 2-year school can affect quick and influencial change.

Hard Trends

  1. Technology will advance
  2. General trends will affect education
  3. Old models are not always the most effective
  4. Prices for education must stop rising
  5. Online education will continue to increase
  6. Shift to mobile
  7. Life-long learning necessary

Digital natives (born after 81-82) share many similarities- they have known digital, cell phone, tablet always and internet. Always have all information of the world at your fingertips. Technology is an option, not an obligation. They experience the internet through their mobile devices. They outnumber baby boomers today, so consider their lives.

Traditional American Dream can never exist for digital natives. They question life-long jobs, pensions, retirement. At this time 8% of debt in United States is student debt. Digital Natives value flexibility, they are value concious and not brand-happy. They think the government is so broken it cannot be fixed and they want real-time feedback. They began the idea of Collaborative Consumption. They don’t see the value of “owning” if they have “access”. If they don’t like the way things are done, they just make a new way to get it.

    Stats on education:
  • 538% increase since 1985
  • Average of 29k in student debt
  • 61% still get finance help from their family
  • 40% of 18-34 live with parents, highest in 70 years age range

    Take the perspective of a younger student. Classroom is increasingly disconnected- no phones, paper textbooks when electronic is available, used to short videos but there they have to experience1hr lectures, long delays in feedback, when they are used to instant feedback. Give students feedback and collaboration options, give options to work.

    By 2020, 50% of all students will be digital natives. By 2035, 70% will be digital natives. The vast majority of students going to school are going to get a better career, better job.


    BYOD (bring your own device). When are you at work, and when are you NOT at work? There is no such thing anymore as a 9-5 workday. There is an explosion of freelance and consulting. Why get hired when they can charge more and do less work? Most jobs are a bridge to the next job? Most will quit and move in with parents rather than do a job they hate. Automation in the workforce. Machines, computers and robots taking over the jobs of humans.

    What can BAXTER do? Baxter is a robotic machine. He’s $25,000 and work extended tasks, 24hours a day, seven days a week.

    What about software? how many jobs are removed when GPS in cars introduced? How many less jobs on atlas, gas, repair, out of the way food locations, etc. Turbotax is hurting/killing tax CPAs. Finance and wall street are hardly any humans, almost all machines these days. Software has been elected to the board of finance companies in the past. Most sports articles are written by software when given the specifics of points, players and venues.

    3D Printers weill be building car bodies, etc. in the future. Businesses are not the same as they used to be. Consider co-working space ( instead of owning a brick-and-mortar location.

    Degrees are over. You’ll need to learn, unlearn, and relearn as you move forward. Rather than learning a new trade, students should be able to learn what they are missing.

    University of Wisconsin has a Flexible option. As many tests as you desire – 3 months, $2250

    Trends in technology

    online, adaptive, and mobile

    MOOC 1.0

    1,000,000 smartphone shipped last year. MOOC for intro to artificial intelligence expected 2000 students, but received 167,000 students. Will it disrupt education? In 1800s, teachers would read textbooks to the class. When students were able to purchase the textbooks, teachers flipped out because they felt the students could read the textbooks themselves- with no need for the teacher. It didn’t change education.

    Knewton- improving learning outcomes with adaptability. individualized learning is now possible.

    Rise of Mobile. 60% see that in next 5 years have no computer. Average user checks mobile 100 times a day. iTunesU will allow everything to be built and used and interact 100% on ipad.

    What can we do to take advantage of this?
    Recognize the shift to mobile-first classes. Can you make your class to be usable ONLY on mobile. Check on Knewton and see what you like, and how you can create this.

    VR to AI
    Occulus rift in the classroom? VR has been ridiculous over the last 30 years, but this occulus is simply fantasy. his prototype won the top award in 2013, and second prototype won again in 2014. How might this be integrated. Prototype is $350. They would like to have for PS4 and mobile. Occulus Rift was purchased for $2 billion.

    Google Glass (meta other version). Has some interesting sets for the future.

    Cryptocurrency like bitcoin. Consider dropping the cost and offering the courses for fractional prices to another country.

    Brain interaction. Muse – brain sensing headband. Use this to train your brain for focus. will this rush into recording memories. Duke is transferring memories from one rat to another via wire. Although one had never seen the task, it was able to complete based on memories of another rat.

    learn how to UNLEARN. Put yourself in a position to embrace change and changes in culture. This is a phenominal way to show leadership. Stop building. Focus resources on reaching your audience. Consider putting your resources into online and mobile.

    audit your processes. So many things can be audited. open this to students. reduce beauraucracy. while expensive in the beginning, it will truly pay off as time goes on.

    Examine traditions. Why do things this way. is it be cause you always have.

    Individually, you can look at the perspective of a digital native? Ask them and try their ways. Go to

    Exploit the online content. find that free content and experiment with integration for your class.

    In Closing

    We cannot have a wait-and-see attitude. Recognize the trends. Consider visiting school of unlearning. A good example is yield signs- what color are they? They have been red and white for 4 years now.