Tuesday, March 2, 2010

News for Educators

I generally read more in a month related to industry developments than I have recently. However these articles are worth pointing out for general interest and comment.

• 10 Demographic Trends offering Opportunity and Challenges- Education

Dynamics' Market Research and Advisory Services Identifies Key Growth Areas

Some highlights:
o Growth areas in higher ed will be at the associates and graduate level, ranging up to 25 percent growth
o Younger students are likely to be working on a project with other students the age of their parents.
o Men are underrepresented and schools need to find ways to market to their needs.
o The age demographic is becoming less and less relevant to how students learn.
o By 2020 minority students will outnumber Caucasian students.
o Online highschool courses are booming.
o Enrollment in the 2 year public sector will exceed supply.

Google to push Google Voice and Google Wave to Businesses

Google is marketing to businesses, but this has implications for education as many of their innovations are in the areas of collaborative work environments.Mobile technologies are becoming more enabled as a one stop communications center in the process, which has potential application in the learning environment. The chrome OS is driving netbook and Google apps development. The future holds new third party software applications that will hook into Google collaboration apps.

The seventh annual Sloan Survey of Online Learning reveals that online enrollment rose by nearly 17 percent from a year earlier.

The growth exceeds previous years, but the thing that strikes me most is the relative lack of headway schools are making in getting faculty buy-in. Less than one-third of chief academic officers believe that their faculty accept the value and legitimacy of online education. This percent has changed little over the last six years. The proportion of chief academic officers that report their faculty accept online education varies widely by type of school but reaches a majority in none. Yet nearly 20 percent of schools offer no training for their online instructors. From my experience, once faculty have had a bad online experience they tend to fault the medium rather than the methods or their abilities, and it is difficult to get buy in from teachers who are getting burned by lack of support and no evangelistic exemplars to motivate them.

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