The future of Higher Ed

LicenseAttributionNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by Max Fridman

The last 6 weeks ONL course has turned out to be enlightening, provocative, fascinating and engaging on how to pedagogically use technology in the classroom. We went through the benefits and advantages of using technology and also the conceivable risks and pitfalls. I really enjoyed every week, writing my personal reflections on a blog, reading what my worldwide colleagues had to say and commenting on their views of the topic.

We have read articles by famous educational developers, watched films, attended webinars, learnt about new tools, collaborated and discussed our learning’s within our groups. We have also created presentations using various tools about our findings to the whole community and giving and taking feedback. Before I went on this course I already knew a lot about technologies & tools in both business and institutions but what I learned from this course was the “why” we should use them and the “how” we can use them especially for deeper learning.

We know that today’s students are pretty much the same as yesterday’s students but the only difference is that they know more about technology than we do right now, but what they haven’t learnt yet, is how to do the thinking part.

This is where the teacher role comes in; a lot of teachers still need to learn about how to use the technology to promote the “thinking process” in students. The one topic that sticks out in my mind and one that I do have a bit of a passion for is blended/flexible learning: today in 2016, I believe that it is still important to have the social face-to-face interaction for the students to reflect & think, alongside with other colleagues of learners and of course a teacher that is a good leader or mentor.

How do we get there?
I work at a Swedish university and can only reflect on what I see here in Sweden but what I do see is that there needs to be a huge change in these institutions and sooner rather than later because the waves of the new generation of students are knocking on the doors (or in todays terms searching on the web) already wanting to learn about facts, figures and how to think so that they can get a good job.
Institutions are lagging behind and are in need of a new teacher role definition, a new support structure to help them move into 21st century education, not just support on the tools provided, but also learning design support. Some more importance and investment is needed on the value of teachers & pedagogy in higher education whether online or blended, so the teachers are motivated to make the design changes in their classrooms.

If we move now not only will the Institutions see the ROI (Return on Investment) by increased student pass rates but also the new target group of Millennial students will also see their ROI and how they can shape the future of human civilisation.

Some thoughts on the future of education:



10 thoughts on “The future of Higher Ed

  1. Thank you Maddy for an interesting topic once again! 🙂 You raise several issues that from a teacher training perspective are important. I think a lot of teachers still work from a behaviorist point of departure when they plan lectures. Sometimes it seems like the students are only there as spectators and the star of the show (sage on the stage) is the teacher. The fact that universities have been very slow to adapt to learners with new needs is one example of this. From a constructivist perspective you always start from the students needs. But perhaps the most important failure is for the faculty as a whole to adapt and make a joint effort in changing design and overall structures of learning. A single teacher is bound by many constraints and those need to be addressed by faculty. But of course teachers have a responsibility to educate themselves on these changes in education as well. But attitudes are difficult to change. Together it is probably easier to move in a new direction in this case. 🙂 Thank you for the links!

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  2. Thank you for an interesting post. I share your thoughts about teachers role, we need to learn how to use the technology to promote students thinking and deeper learning processes. I also think that online learning can`t totally replace f2f- teaching and I see blended learning as a good thing to combine both forms of teaching and learning.

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  3. Thank you for your final 😦 blog post for this course; I have really enjoyed learning with you and from you, and will continue to consider you an important part of my personal learning network :).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Maddy, many thanks for another great post. 🙂

    Another measure in ROI that is being used in Higher Education, especially in US or private universities, and that will start to be used more and more by Universities is employability of the students (those more connected to the labour market) and research projects (for those more in the research area). These shifts will pose and are already posing a huge change in the institutional dynamics, financing and in the way the students apply and engage with higher education. well, lots of things to follow in the coming years 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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