Teaching at a public high school in Barcelona, I witnessed daily, and sometimes hourly, failure: students struggling through exams despite hours of preparation, missing days of school, threatening teachers and losing their motivation.
From the vantage point of someone who never budged from my cautious optimism over what MOOCs might eventually become, I'd like to point out that even if massive open courses have not made free learning for all available yesterday, they have raised the bar in online education.
I had an interesting week. On Monday I attended a book launch event in Denmark. The idea of the organizers was to create a "Nordic Forum" to bring together leaders and change-makers from many systems and sectors who are using awareness-based technologies of change.
Sorry, kids, the virtual classroom is becoming a more frequent reality -- just like online learning is for your adult counterparts. Poking around, I learned of other virtual classroom programs popping up across the country -- from cities like Chicago to suburbs like Taunton, Mass.
Where is the technology fix or app for skyrocketing textbooks? Where are the barbarians at the gate? Those Silicon Valley warriors that took down Motown, turned my neighborhood Borders into a laundromat, eliminated Kodak AND my camera?
We think kids with entrepreneurial tendencies are pretty cool. Curious, adventurous and fearless, they filter the world differently. And I can't think of a more hopeful future than one built by people who started thinking like entrepreneurs before hitting a double digit age.
These are exciting times for anyone in higher education. Many forms of online learning are leveraging digital technology into the core of the educational experience. They are fundamentally changing the laws of access, costs, and the student learning experience across the globe.
To survive in today's workplace, students need a unique skill set that oftentimes can't be acquired in a traditional, brick and mortar classroom. For many, online education is becoming the most affordable and convenient alternative.
Our study of women learning to code at Thinkful concludes there's simply no difference in the performance of men versus women among adult learners. We do, however, find enormous differences in the ratio of women versus men who enroll in coding classes.
The topic of the "ROI of a college degree," may be the strongest factor for working adults and other nontraditional students looking to return to a degree program. The need for higher education in this country is clear.
Education is becoming more modular, and going forward, the focus will be on adapting our education systems to the new reality in which students develop valuable knowledge and skills in many different learning environments.
Meet Elizabeth, a twelve-year-old who walked over 10 kilometers to school and back every day. Despite her class being crowded -- sometimes with 75 children for each teacher -- she was lucky to receive an education at all.
When we approach change with the faith that dialogue will shift culture toward reflection, we are more likely to make changes that will organically work their way into the experience we offer faculty and students.