Trends that will impact education in the next 5 years

My colleague at BCIT in Vancouver, Kyle Hunter, recently asked the following question:

Here is my video response.

After I did the video I felt like singing that old Sesame Street song “one of these things is not like the other” as I have lumped Apple in with this fine batch of openness when, in fact, I have some issues with the open of Apple and iTunesU. But I still think that iTunesU and the announcement last week that they are going to offer full courses through iTunesU fits with the point I was trying to make, despite the open/closed distinction.

And I said Stanford Thrun when it is really Sebastian Thrun from Stanford University.


Clint Lalonde

Just a guy writing some stuff, mostly for me these days on this particular blog. For my EdTech/OpenEd stuff, check out


3 thoughts on “Trends that will impact education in the next 5 years

  1. To me it's interesting (=not necessarily positive) that all of these initiatives come from from separate institutions/organizations/companies. I agree that open courses are an important trend. But, I am waiting for more collaborations across institutional silos. Why isn't Stanford working with MITx. Why is Thrun setting up a new and separate company?

  2. These free online universities sound all fine and dandy but where will the money come from? There's the old saying "follow the money!" and that's the catch – who's going to pay for it? Are instructors going to participate out of the goodness of their hearts? I understand that doesn't weigh too much at the grocery store check-out counters.

    With the latest copyright laws being enacted, how is the publishing industry going to react to content being given away for free? The latest rules for copyright in educational institutes is putting a stranglehold on teaching.

    1. Good, and important, questions Eugene. I think there is a lot of toying with various business models out there. Udacity, for example, is a for profit company so the people there are expecting to make money of their model of massive open courses.

      But I wonder if we won't start seeing more instructors go out on their own – the rise of the free range faculty. No longer tied to a single institution, with other avenues for a teaching career. Perhaps they will move from one intermediary to another – offering a course on Udemy (also for profit), or maybe forgoing the entire system and doing it fully on their own. For some, especially those who have some technical skills and understanding of online pedagogies, that may be a reasonable alternative – eliminate the university "middle man" and offering their courses directly to students for a fraction of the cost that it would cost at a post-secondary environment. Now, this won't work of all disciplines or subjects, but it might for some. I mean, if you are an English scholar, how many resources do you really need to teach an English course?

      And I do believe there is still a role for publicly funded higher learning opportunities. Those of us who work in higher ed are already producing courses and content and getting paid pretty well for it by the public. Why couldn't we just open those up?

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