– Thoughts from Andrew Rosen, CEO of Kaplan, Inc.

Education & Technology

I wrote two posts today on the ZDNet Education blog about Andrew Rosen’s new book, Rebooting for the new talent economy. It’s a great read and I was utterly struck by how his themes of broad access to higher education in the 21st century paralleled what so many instructors are already doing on WizIQ.

Here’s an excerpt from my review of the book. The full post is available here.

I recently had the opportunity to read Rebooting for the new talent economy, by Andrew Rosen. Rosen is the chairman and CEO of Kaplan, Inc., the activities of which reach from brick and mortar test prep facilities to 1:1 tutoring to fully online higher education through Kaplan University. As a result, he’s in a unique position to discuss the sorts of changes that can drastically shift how we think about higher education and education in general. The book itself is one of the clearest calls to action I’ve read as we look for real solutions to problems of opportunity, job growth, access, and competitiveness in post-recession America…

…Clearly, the role of technology will be critical to improving access and delivering education cost-effectively and to underserved populations. Online learning, skills-based training outside of traditional undergraduate degrees, and tech-enabled community outreach through local colleges and community colleges can all contribute to a new model for higher education at scale. None of this diminishes the role of our major research universities, but asks us to look carefully at our assumptions about what higher education should be and how we can use all of the tools, entrepreneurship, and emerging models to reach a goal of a highly educated populace that can truly compete in a global economy.

This book is a highly recommended read for anyone struggling to reconcile ideas and preconceptions of higher education with the economic realities and technological possibilities of 2012.

I also interviewed Rosen via email. The complete interview is available here, but my favorite question/answer combination is excerpted below:

What role does the proliferation of personal computing technologies (e.g., laptops and tablets) play in increasing access to educational opportunities?

Twenty-five years from now, there will still be plenty of people who pack their bags and move to our most elite colleges for a four-year experience, but many more will be getting their education directly on their mobile devices. The astonishing improvement of those devices, and the concomitant improvement in educational technology, will steadily wear away the perceived quality gap between distance and on-site education — a gap that is already narrower than most understand. (A recent Education Department study concluded that online already delivers slightly better outcomes than face-to-face, with blended learning performing better than either alone.) As mobile learning continues to evolve, it will become harder and harder for parents to justify the cost of shipping their sons and daughters off to a campus for four years, when an equal or better quality education is available at home or at the workplace. And because that education can be significantly less expensive — there will be no need for French bistros or football stadiums at a mobile university, and technology will enable delivery of some portions of the education at much less cost — it will also permit dramatically expanded access. If our regulatory system does not throw up hurdles, we’re in for a golden era in education over the next quarter century, one that promises to deliver significantly better learning outcomes, greater access, lower cost, and more accountability than the system we have today. Traditional universities will need to adapt to these new realities, and a wide variety of new players (public, nonprofit and for-profit) will emerge to deliver parts of this new educational system.

Rosen’s book is available from Amazon in both hardcover and Kindle editions (the latter is available for free to Amazon Prime members).

Christopher Dawson

Chris is a full-time online teacher since then, focusing on teaching Business English to Adults. Rather than pushing the boundaries of technology, Chris seeks to simplify the online learning process by focusing on authentic human connections as a way to make online learning accessible for learners of all ages.

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