Earlier this month, I published a new post on IBM’s Thoughts on Cloud blog, “Five ways cloud is enhancing higher education.” In summary, the five points I discussed are how cloud technology can be used for:
- Streamlining operations
- Improving student productivity, conferencing and collaboration
- Extending the reach of higher education
- Enhancing and scaling delivery of course material
- Personalizing education and improving learning outcomes
If you read the post, you’ll see that cloud technology, combined with network, mobile, social and data analysis technologies, are driving the transformation. For readers of this blog, the Thoughts on Cloud post, especially point #3, updates the post I wrote here back in January 2013, “Can massive open online courses (MOOCs) help us change the world?” The short answer is that MOOCs have evolved quickly, but we still have a long way to go before they reach their full potential. Nevertheless, interest and optimism remain high, so I will continue to write about MOOCs as the story unfolds.
The emerging opportunities from the intersection of technology and education are exciting to me. In the 2013 IBM Global Technology Outlook (download available here), the education industry was said to be “at the brink of an IT-enabled transformation.” The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding research to explore the potential of MOOCs. I expect the next few years to bring an avalanche of academic research about using technology to transform education.
If you want to be inspired, and think about how people will learn in the future, watch this You Tube video – Megatrends in technology disrupting higher education – Optus Vision 2014. Professor Young, Pro Vice Chancellor, Learning & Teaching, Macquarie University, talks about technology’s impact on education in the short, medium and long term. The big takeaway for me is that we’ve only begun to imagine the possibilities. For a more detailed discussion, read the New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education Edition.
Stay tuned: we live in exciting times.