The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Higher Ed Needs to Keep Up with Tech

Higher education needs to develop new educational and training programs to keep pace with the technological changes that are reshaping the job market. Online learning and artificial intelligence (AI) will be part of those changes, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

The poll of industry experts and higher-education thought leaders noted that online learning is a flexible format that can play an important role in training workers, but added that requires more “on-demand” training focused on lifelong learners.

“Most of what we now call online learning is little more than glorified textbooks, but the future is very promising,” said David Karger, a computer science professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in an article for EdTech. “Online teaching will increase the reach of top universities, which will put pressure on lesser universities to demonstrate value.”

Nearly 30% of respondents to the survey said that AI and machine learning will be disruptive forces, killing more jobs through automation than they create. While automation eliminates many jobs, online learning could be the format to provide training for more sophisticated job skills.

“People will create the jobs of the future, not simply train for them, and technology is already central,” Jonathan Grudin, principal researcher at Microsoft, said in the Pew report. “It will undoubtedly play a greater role in the years ahead.”

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