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The Disruption of Education

Disruptive technologies, innovations


and business models that affect
learning and teaching
DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY
Disruptive technology has been called the
worst thing to happen to higher
education.
It has been praised as the savior of the
education industry.
Is disruptive technology (or disruptive
innovation) a threat or an opportunity?
Is it disruptive or constructive?
The term disruptive technology was coined by Clayton Christensen, a Harvard
Business School professor, back in 1995.
What is Disruptive Technology?
This is a product or service that is
designed for a new set of
customers.
Christensen, Clayton. 1997. The Innovators Dilemma.
What is Disruptive Innovation?
This is an innovation that helps create
a new market and value network.
Eventually, it disrupts an existing
market and value network.
It displaces an earlier technology,
process, method, or approach.
Christensen, Clayton. 1997. The Innovators Dilemma.
EXAMPLES OF DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES
DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION DISRUPTED MARKET
8 inch floppy disk drive 14 inch floppy disk drive
5.25 inch floppy disk drive 8 inch floppy disk drive
3.5 inch floppy disk drive 5.25 inch floppy disk drive
CDs and USB flash drives 3.5 inch floppy disk drive
Downloadable Digital Media CDs, DVDs
Personal computers Minicomputers, Workstations
Desktop publishing Traditional publishing
Computer printers Offset printing
Digital photography Chemical photography
Mobile phones Landlines
Online retail Brick and mortar retailing
Free, online greeting cards Printed greeting cards
GPS navigation device Navigational map
Wikipedia Encyclopedia
Distance Learning Classroom and campus based instruction
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DISRUPTED EDUCATION SYSTEMS
Dramatic changes include:
Paradigm shifts: social media web 2.0, social
network learning
Creative destruction: Google, iPod, iPad, NetFlix
Techno-socio-economic: knowledge economy,
creative economy
Long cycles of adoption: computers, the
Internet
Disruptive innovation: Khan Academy, mobiles,
openness
Siemens, George. 2012. What Would a Disrupted Education System Look Like. Presentation
given to EDGEx, New Delhi, Society for Learning Analytics Research, March 12, 2012.
EVOLUTION OF EDUCATION
We have always had a constant need to learn.
Colleges in the USA
started almost immediately after European
immigrants arrived
to preserve religious identity and institutions
During the Industrial Revolution
universities were created for research
to provide fundamental science and engineering
knowledge essential to the economy
Ladd, Larry. 2011. Top 10 imperatives facing higher education institutions in 2012. OnCourse. December 2011.
PURPOSE OF EDUCATION
The Cold War and the Information
Age brought additional changes.
Since education includes instruction
across the lifespan and varied
contexts, higher education serves
many purposes.
Ladd, Larry. 2011. Top 10 imperatives facing higher education institutions in 2012. OnCourse. December 2011.
HIGHER EDUCATION
Higher education is associated with:
Practicality
Professional training
Workforce development training
Continuing professional training
All of these can be disrupted.
Ladd, Larry. 2011. Top 10 imperatives facing higher education institutions in 2012. OnCourse. December 2011.
THREE QUESTIONS
Disruptive technology is nothing
new; it is also called progress.
Is all progress disruptive?
How do we know what technology
is disruptive?

DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES
Are all new products, methods, and approaches disruptive?
Meyer, Katrina A. 2010. The Role of Disruptive Technology in the Future of Higher Education. EDUCAUSE
Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2010.
The internet, wikis, blogs,
social media & social
networks
Social bookmarking,
sharing sites, & RSS
Mobile devices, digital
cameras & recorders
Google, free software, &
creative commons
Open-source tools
Open education
Wireless connections
Instant messaging, internet
telephony
Cloud computing & cheap
storage
Groupware
Broadband
Virtual worlds &
gamification
HIGHER ED: AS WE KNOW IT
The basic building blocks of higher
education has not changed much in:
Priorities
Governance
Instructional design
Cost structure
Kirschner, Ann. 2012. Innovation in Higher Education? HAH. The Chronicle Review, April 13, 2012, pgs B6-B9.
HIGHER EDUCATION: DISRUPTION
Disruption occurs when:
More students cannot afford
continuously enhanced offerings
and become non-consumers.
New technologies allow new
competitors to serve this group of
non-consumers.
Christensen, Clayton M and Henry J. Eyring. 2011. The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher
Education from the Inside Out. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.
STABLE ELEMENTS
Traditional higher education areas not prone to disruption:
Christensen, Clayton M and Henry J. Eyring. 2011. The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out. Jossey-
Bass: San Francisco.
Sandeen, Cathy. 2011. What I learned from The Innovative University, Part 3: Relevance to professional and continuing education. Blog posting,
October 10, 2011. Retrieved from http://cathysandeen.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/whati- learned-from-the-innovative-university-part-
3-relevance-to-professional-andcontinuing-education/
Face to face
instruction
Specialization or
departmentalization
Long summer recess
Graduate program
dominance
Private fundraising
Competitive athletics
General education
and majors
Academic honors
Tenure and rank for
faculty
Admission selectivity
DISRUPTIVE MODEL
Elements of the disruptive model of higher education
Christensen, Clayton M and Henry J. Eyring. 2011. The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out. Jossey-
Bass: San Francisco.
Sandeen, Cathy. 2011. What I learned from The Innovative University, Part 3: Relevance to professional and continuing education. Blog posting,
October 10, 2011. Retrieved from http://cathysandeen.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/whati- learned-from-the-innovative-university-part-
3-relevance-to-professional-andcontinuing-education/
Full year-round
operation
Modular majors
Online courses &
degrees
Higher compensation
& term contracts for
faculty
Broader definition of
faculty scholarship
with teaching
emphasis
Metrics related to
desired outcomes
Increased enrolments
& access
Reduced campus
amenities
Lower costs to
students
WHEN DOES CHANGE HAPPEN?
Like other industries, higher
education has the natural
inclination to stay the same.
The incentive to overcome
this only comes when a real
need for change occurs.
Kirschner, Ann. 2012. Innovation in Higher Education? HAH. The Chronicle Review, April 13, 2012, pgs B6-B9.
WHY NOW?
Why is everyone talking about
disruptive technology and
disruptive innovation now?
What is forcing higher education
to examine these elements of
disruptive technology?
WHY NOW?
Pressures create the urgency for change
in higher education:
Declining finances and revenues for
allocation to colleges & universities
Students worried about increasing costs
Government, business, and education
leaders pleading for more efficiency,
more productivity, more graduates, and
more learning
Meyer, Katrina A. 2010. The Role of Disruptive Technology in the Future of Higher Education. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2010.
IN ADDITION
The changing priorities of higher
education to meet the needs and demands of
students today are generating urgent need
for changes in higher education.
Economic Shifts
Demographic Shifts
Pedagogical Shifts
Location Shifts
Accountability Shifts
ECONOMIC SHIFTS
Student enrollments are increasing and are
expected to continue to rise over the next few
years.
Budgets are getting smaller and institutions
have to do more with less.
eLearning has become mission critical to
educational institutions globally as more and
more non-traditional students need access to
education.
Funding problems, ever increasing costs
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity?
Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFTS
The number of non-traditional students is
increasing:
Learners in the workforce,
Financially independent,
Typically pursuing education part-time,
and
Often responsible for dependents
Heiss, Frederick, 2011. Old School: Colleges Most Important Trend is the Rise of the Adult Student. The Atlantic, September 28, 2011.
DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFTS
Reaching and engaging the changing
demographics of students, in the learning
environment of their choice, requires a
significant shift in education with
flexibility, ease of use and customizability
being core requirements.
In many countries, the traditional student is
no longer the norm in colleges & universities.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity?
Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFTS
Retirees are returning for more career
training.
The underemployed seek additional
training to meet new career goals.
Minority populations are increasing and
looking for new opportunities,
retraining and recertification.
Where economic downturns are prevalent:
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity?
Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFTS
Employees focusing on a second career after
retiring from their first career
First-generation students who are the first in
their family to attend a higher education
institution
Those with no credentials who suddenly find
out that, to get hired, they need a degree
Teachers implementing new paradigms and
collaborating more with peers
Flexibility, ease of use, customizability are
important to these types of learners.
Juneau, Denise. 2011. A Focus on Success: Big Sky Pathways. Presentation of the Montana office of Public Instruction.
DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFTS
International higher education is
growing globally: 150.6 million students
with a 53% increase since 2000.
Distance education represents an area
of enormous potential for higher
education systems around the world
struggling to meet the needs of growing
and changing student populations.
Altbach, Philip G., Liz Reisberg and Laura E. Rumbley. 2009. Trends in Global Higher Education: Tracking an Academic Revolution. A report prepared for the UNESCO 2009 World
Conference on Higher Education.
PEDAGOGICAL SHIFTS
Personal learning networks
Formalized peer-to-peer learning
Mobile learning & teaching
Sharable content
Attractive packaging & presentation
24-hour accessible references
Constantly updated content
Adaptive testing
Measurable progress & results
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
LOCATION SHIFTS
Distance education is increasingly mission-
critical rather than supplemental; fewer
students see the need to be in a physical
classroom.
Cloud-based computing is increasing in
academic, administrative IT functions, and
low-risk functions such as e-mail. More
schools will rely on the cloud as security
improves and products mature.
Information is increasingly accessible
anytime, anywhere and on any device.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
ACCOUNTABILITY SHIFTS
Data-driven decisions is now the norm.
Schools are under pressure to gather, track
and assess critical data points.
Needs and requests must be proven
through data reports and analytics before
permission and funding.
This is a drastic change for institutions that
have been self-governing.
Evidence of impact, accreditation changes,
retention, graduation, data driven decisions
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
ACCOUNTABILITY SHIFTS
Nations are realizing that they are
lagging in critical areas.
Students are in debt and graduates are
entering worsening job markets.
After four years of college, about one
third of students have not significantly
improved their writing, critical thinking
or analytical thinking skills.
Arum, Richard and Josipa Roksa. 2011. Academically adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
ACCOUNTABILITY SHIFTS
... we must move on from the
reassuring repetition of stale phrases to
a new, difficult, but essential
confrontation with reality.
If there is any ... trend toward meeting
present problems with old clichs, this is
the moment to stop it before it lands us
all in a bog of sterile acrimony.
Kennedy, John Fitzgerald. 1962. Commencement Address at Yale University. June 11, 1962. Retrieved from
http://www.networker.www3.50megs.com/jfk15.html.
Pres. John F. Kennedy in a 1962 speech at Yale:
THE TARGET MARKET
Educational and life-style needs are
rapidly changing for todays students.
Todays higher education students
embrace technology more than any
generation before them.
The old clichs, truisms and stereotypes
of yesterday do not work anymore in
learning, assessment, and retention.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
LEARNERS WANT DISRUPTION
Todays students want an education
that uses the most ubiquitous form
of communication (e.g., mobile
learning).
They want an education that allows
them to learn when and where they
find the time (e.g., online sources,
webcasts)
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
SCHOOLS NEED DISRUPTION
Schools need a much deeper way of
determining whether the students
are learning and how their
behaviors effect such learning (e.g.,
academic analytics).
Schools need new methods that
dramatically improve performance,
efficiency, and extend reach.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY
to innovate
to listen to what the ultimate end-
users, the students, need and
require from education
to truly provide the mechanism that
will provide the global workforce
needed today and in the future
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
Another way of looking at it: as an opportunity for institutions
WHY CHANGE?
The purpose of transforming
higher education is by definition to
reach people who are left out or ill-
served by the current system.
Kamenetz, Anya. 2010. DIY U: Interview with Anya Kamenetz. Higher ed Management.
CHANGE INTO WHAT?
... a system with more entry points
at different places;
more flexibility to earn credit for life
experience;
more mentorship relationships;
more peer-to-peer learning;
more free and open courseware
Kamenetz, Anya. 2010. DIY U: Interview with Anya Kamenetz. Higher ed Management.
CHANGE INTO WHAT?
an overall cost structure that breaks
the cost spiral;
more experiential learning... where
quality ... doesnt derive from cost or
exclusivity of a school;
and most importantly, one that is
customized to each individual
Kamenetz, Anya. 2010. DIY U: Interview with Anya Kamenetz. Higher ed Management.
LISTEN TO THE MARKET
The students of today want education to
confront reality and provide an education
for 2012 and beyond, not one that worked
in times past.
They want more games, more adaptive
learning, more natural user interfaces and
more social learning.
They want access to it anytime and
anywhere on all their devices. They want a
transformed learning experience.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
LOOK AT THE TRENDS
A simultaneous revolution is occurring in
delivery modes, expectations and barriers
between work and learning.
Transformation (or disruption) is afoot in
order to reinvent education.
Higher education is no longer in control of
the pace of change.
It is now sourced in the community and
environment beyond the academys walls
forcing a separation of learning from how
one acquires the learning.
Smith, Peter. 2012. Why There Will Not Be a New Normal in Higher Education. Desire2Learn FUSION 2012 Leadership Program, July 17, 2012.
THE NINE
MAJOR
DISRUPTORS
1. Online Learning
2. Mobile, Tablets
3. Gamification
4. Learning Analytics
5. Gesture Based
Computing
6. Cloud Computing
7. Adaptive Learning
Systems
8. Flexible,
Competency
Based Degrees
9. The University of
Wherever
1. ONLINE LEARNING
Lectures have been the mainstay of
higher education for centuries, great at
delivering material from one to many.
Many educators embrace this form of
teaching wholeheartedly. Students, on
the other hand, not so much.
Budget cuts force institutions to re-
evaluate their education strategies and
find alternatives to on-campus
teaching.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
ONLINE LEARNING
Students performed better in online
courses than in lectures
Courses that blend online and lectures
were most effective, due in part to:
Spending more time on task
Giving students more control over
their learning
Providing greater opportunities for
reflection
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
ONLINE LEARNING
In the higher education industry,
online education is described as the
disruptive technology that may
help cure higher education ills.
Gilbert, Tim. 2012. Breaking Tradition: Can Technology Repair the Broken Higher Education Model? Todays Campus, March/April 2012.
ONLINE LEARNING
The important of placing the
student at the center of the learning
experience has been repeatedly
underscored.
Anderson, Terry. 2004. Teaching in an Online Learning Context. Theory and Practice of Online Learning. Editors: Terry Anderson & Fathi
Elloumi. Athabasca University.
ONLINE LEARNING
The uses of automated instruction,
self-publishing and peer-to-peer
networking have been emphasized.
Wilson, Brent G. 2001. Trends and Futures of Education: Implications for Distance Education. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, editor
Les Moller. October 2001. Retrieved from http://carbon.ucdenver.edu/~bwilson/TrendsAndFutures.html
ONLINE LEARNING
Problem-solving, team-based
learning and individualized learning
tend to produce better results than
lecture-based formats.
Lectures have been criticized as
inefficient and ineffective in changing
learning behaviors.
Wilson, Brent G. 2001. Trends and Futures of Education: Implications for Distance Education. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, editor
Les Moller. October 2001. Retrieved from http://carbon.ucdenver.edu/~bwilson/TrendsAndFutures.html
ONLINE LEARNING
The influence of social media on
teaching and learning is increasing.
Classroom walls no longer serve as
boundaries.
Learning can truly occur anytime
and anywhere, even in the 10
minutes on the bus going home.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
ONLINE LEARNING
Due to changing demographics,
student needs & demands, more
adaptive learning tools and e-learning
opportunities are being used, such as:
social networking
personalized learning models
mobile learning
blended learning
online learning

Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
ONLINE LEARNING
The number of students who expect
to be able to work and study
whenever and wherever they want
is continuously increasing around
the world.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
ONLINE LEARNING
This is not a short-term shift.
Schools are under pressure to put
infrastructure, tools and support in
place to enable the long-term
success of their students.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
ONLINE LEARNING
Despite the advent of online
learning more than 10 years ago,
schools still cling to tradition.
New schools that offer viable
solutions will successfully challenge
and lead these tradition-bound
institutions.
2. MOBILES, TABLETS
Mobile Learning or MLearning encompasses
learning with portable technologies including but
not limited to handheld computers, MP3 players,
notebooks, tablets and mobile phones.
Mobile applications are reshaping our society by
becoming an essential way for institutions to
connect with their students, instructors, staff and
the public.
At last count, there were over 48 million
smartphone users and almost 6 billion
(MobiThinking, 2012) mobile phone subscriptions
making mobiles the most ubiquitous form of
communication today.
x
2. MOBILES, TABLETS
It is estimated that 97% of higher education
students in the US own a mobile device (Cisco,
2012).
Always connected Internet devices using 3 or
4G cellular networks, embedded sensors,
cameras and GPS have proved to be a growing
method for teaching and learning.
As people use tablets to supplement, not
replace smartphones, they are viewed as less
disruptive tools but they are still making quite
an impact in education (ACU, 2012).
x
3. GAMIFICATION
According to the 2012 Horizon Report for Higher Education
by the New Media Consortium, game-based learning has
grown in recent years as research continues to
demonstrate its effectiveness for learning.
Games range from single-player to massively multiplayer
games.
The greatest potential for games lies in their ability to
foster collaboration and engage students deeply in the
process of learning.
Problem based learning and situation based learning can
be demonstrated quite well through gamification.
Game based learning approximates the activities the
learners conduct in their free time.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
3. GAMIFICATION
Games enable flow which is a familiar
concept to game designers and psychologists
but may not be to educators.
Flow is the mental state in which the person is
fully engaged, focused and committed to the
success of the activity.
Flow is the mental state of operation in which a
person in an activity is fully immersed in a
feeling of energized focus, full involvement,
and success in the process of the activity
(Csikszentmihalyi & Nakamura, 2002).
x
3. GAMIFICATION
Interestingly, flow is a critical component
of efficient learning and is essential when
developing expertise through practice.
Well-thought out games provide ideal
prerequisites for flow to occur and the
more flow, the more engagement.
The more engagement, the more learning
takes place.
With such immersive technologies, the
goal of personalized, interactive education
can be realized.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
3. GAMIFICATION
The US Department of Defense is a
significant user of games for teaching
both soon to be deployed and deployed
armed services.
These simulated environments recreate
situations found in the field.
Learners practice scripted scenarios
designed to challenge their decision
making, critical thinking and teamwork.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
4. LEARNING ANALYTICS
Accountability, stakeholders, dashboards
this is the language of corporations, not
academia, but more and more often these
days, academic institutions have to prove their
performance to external audiences in order to
obtain funding and accreditation.
Higher education needs to comply with
government mandates, compete globally for
learners, review programs and substantiate
accreditation and make strategic decisions
about whether to build on existing strengths or
develop new areas.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
4. LEARNING ANALYTICS
In order to do this, educational institutions
need to better understand their own systemic
strengths and weaknesses and create a model
for accountability and continual improvement
in education.
Hard data is becoming the basis for all
decisions in academia, including hiring,
compensation and retirement as well as
facilitating professional development and
enabling individualized instruction to improve
student retention and identify at risk students.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
4. LEARNING ANALYTICS
In order to obtain this indication of
performance and campus achievement,
academic or learning analytics
applications are often utilized.
Academic analytics not only provides
information to external audiences, it
also helps drive decision making about
which programs and initiatives are best
suited to help the institution meet their
goals.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
4. LEARNING ANALYTICS
Academic analytics allow academic
institutions to create an integrated,
flexible process to steer performance
and increase accountability.
A good analytics tool can also clean up
data, reduce inefficiencies and
streamline the process of preparing and
delivering necessary reports.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
5. GESTURE-BASED COMPUTING
Gesture-based computing takes
interacting with technology to the
next level where motions of the
body, expressions and voice
recognition control the device.
Interactions are more intuitive and
engaging (remember, more engaging
means more active learning).
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
5. GESTURE-BASED COMPUTING
Such interactions are already possible
with your vehicles emergency system
such as OnStar, the touchscreen of your
smartphone and tablet, and the gesture
and voice recognition of the latest
gaming systems such as Xbox Kinect
and Nintendo Wii.
In the later example, users learn by
doing taking simulation gaming to
the next level.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
5. GESTURE-BASED COMPUTING
In the healthcare industry, medical
education has already experimented
with simulating gaming and gesture
based computing in order to engage
learners and keep pace with the
technology actually used in the field.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
6. CLOUD COMPUTING
With reduced budgets and the need to
reduce infrastructure costs, more and
more institutions are taking advantages
of the benefits provided by cloud
technology.
Though not embraced fully yet by
higher education, institutions do realize
that they need to investigate innovative
ways to house and store their
applications and data.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
7. ADAPTIVE LEARNING SYSTEMS
Adaptive learning is an educational
method which uses computers and
software applications as interactive
teaching devices.
Such applications adapt the
presentation of educational material
according to the students weaknesses,
as indicated by their responses to
questions.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
7. ADAPTIVE LEARNING SYSTEMS
Adaptive learning endeavors to transform the
learner from a passive receptor of information
to a collaborator in the learning process.
More advanced adaptive learning systems
actually learn as the learner learns; presenting
more complicated and complex material as the
student progresses.
These applications are used in some
educational institutions and by the US Federal
Governments Department of Defense for
training of their service members and
warfighters.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
8. FLEXIBLE, COMPETENCY-BASED DEGREES
The University of Wisconsin made history when
it, as a publicly funded institution, announced
that it was offering competency-based degrees
(Walker, 2012).
Offering such an option for adults returning to
school will help the underemployed and
unemployed fill some of the thousands of open
jobs waiting for qualified applications.
By working with employers, the University of
Wisconsin intends to help close the skills gap to
get people working again.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
9. The University of Wherever
(as coined by Bill Keller, 2011)
Some say that higher education is broken and
that is why there is so much fracturing going
on.
Others point out that there have always been a
variety of options for higher education learners
and the so called fracturing is really nothing
more than additional options.
We do know that the traditional academic
experience isnt for everyone based on the
changing demographics of learners.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
Disruptive learning
models disrupt the
delivery of education but
not education as a
system.
Siemens, George. 2012. What Would a Disrupted Education System Look Like. Presentation given to EDGEx, New Delhi, Society for Learning Analytics Research,
March 12, 2012.
Disruptive Educators Today
The Khan Academy
Online school offers 3,200 educational
videos
4 million students per month watch
millions of videos every day
Supported by Google and the Gates
Foundation
Uses proficiency trees and progress
tracking
147,660,669 lessons delivered
Roche, Jerry. 2012. Re-Inventing Education: A Look at Khan Academy. eLearning, January/February 2012. Pgs. 22-24.
Disruptive Educators Today
MITx (a self-service learning system
in which students can take online
tests and earn certificates after
watching free course materials;
offered by the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology) (MITx, 2012)
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
Disruptive Educators Today
edX (partnership between Harvard
University and MIT and more
recently UCBerkeley that will host
online courses from both institutions
free of charge; each institution has
committed $30 million to the
project; students earn certificates
not university credits) (DeSantis,
2012; Cohan, 2012)
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
Disruptive Educators Today
StraighterLine (founded by Burck Smith;
self-paced introductory courses; gives
learners access to the Collegiate
Learning Assessment allowing learners
to take results to employers or colleges
to demonstrate proficiency and obtain
college credit through partnerships
with accredited colleges) (Selingo, 2012;
Armstrong, 2011)
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
Disruptive Educators Today
Apple (introduced software that
allows students to download or
create textbooks and that permit
instructors to create a digital
curriculum in iTunes U) (Selingo,
2012)
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
Disruptive Educators Today
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
(a course where the participants and
course materials are dispersed; the
course is not a gathering but a way of
connecting distributed instructors and
learners across a common topic or field
of discourse; typically free but there
may be a fee if the learner wants some
form of certification showing mastery;
course structure is minimal) (Siemens,
2012)
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
Disruptive Educators Today
Udacity (Stanford professor Sebastian
Thrun gave up his tenured position to
open Udacity which offers low-cost
online courses to anyone and everyone)
(Piatt, 2012)
Udemy (created to disrupt the world of
education by enabling anyone to teach
and learn online; most courses are free
with a few paid courses that range in
price from $5 to $250) (Udemy, 2012)
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
Disruptive Educators Today
Coursera (offers free courses from major universities such
as Princeton, Stanford, University of Michigan Ann
Arbor, University of California Berkeley and University of
Pennsylvania)
Knewton (mines performance and behavioral data to build
a profile for each student and delivers recommendations
about what learning activity he or she should do next;
Knewton can provide a learning activity for a person at any
one time based on what the person is weakest at and how
the person learns best (Knewton, 2012)
Not-for-profit online institutions (with face to face courses
dwindling, some not-for-profit institutions are creating an
online option, taking advantage of the problems being
currently encountered by the for-profit institutions)
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
Disruptive Educators Today
TED (believes in the power of ideas to change
attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world; building a
clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and
inspiration from the worlds most inspired thinkers,
and also a community to engage with ideas and each
other; this site, launched April 2007, is everevolving ;
recently unveiled TED-Ed where videos are displayed
on lesson pages that include multiple-choice quizzes,
open-ended questions and links to more information
about the material, each flipped video receives a
unique web link that instructors can distribute to
students and track their answers) (DeSantis, 2012)
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
Disruptive Educators Today
Western Governors University (founded by the
governors in 19 US states who face a similar
dilemma - how to make quality education
affordable; accredited as a state university in
Indiana, Texas, and other states; a learner works on
their own time at their own speed; tuition is
$6,000/year and covers as many courses as the
learner wants to take; currently has 30,000 students
and students earn their bachelors degrees in an
average of 30 months;focuses on whether students
can demonstrate competencies rather than on
counting the number of courses taken) (Wente,
2012; Armstrong, 2011)
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
Disruptive Educators Today
University of the People (international, tuition-
free, nonprofit institution founded in 2009 is a
pioneering effort in eLearning and peer-to-peer
learning; using open source technology and
coursework provided gratis by well-regarded
institutions, it offers two and four year degree
programs in business administration and
computer sciences; has partnerships with Yale,
New York University and HP; enrolled 1400
students from 130 countries; currently seeking
accreditation) (Monaghan, 2012)
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
Disruptive Educators Today
Minerva Project
For-profit
Serves the brightest students who fall
through the cracks of highly selective
admissions cycles
Currently seeking accreditation
Will start classes in 2014
Funded with $25 million capital by the
Benchmark Capital
High-profile advisors on its board
DeSantis, Nick. 2012. Harvard and MIT to Jointly Host Online Courses. The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 11, 2012. Page A30.
Disruptive Educators Today
Learning Counts and the Open Badges Project
Certification accepted by many traditional
institutions and employers
Badges recognize skills, achievement and learning
beyond the classroom
Supported by the MacArthur Foundation
Partners: American Council on Education, College
Board, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning
Collaboration between p2pu and Mozilla

Armstrong, Lloyd. 2011. Potential disruptors in the higher education space. Changing Higher Education, June 2011. Retrieved from
http://www.changinghighereducation.com/2011/06/as-regular-readers-of-this-blog-knowi- have-been-using-clayton-christensens-concept-of-
disruptive-innovation-toframe- issues.html#more.
Carey, Kevin. 2012. A Future of Badges. The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2012.
Disruptive Educators Today
Open Learning Initiative
Created in 2002
Team-building introductory college
courses
Used across institutions
Director: Candace Thille at Carnegie
Mellon University
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
Disruptive Educators Today
... and others such as
the University of Phoenix
Open University and
Laureate International Universities
Armstrong, Lloyd. 2011. Potential disruptors in the higher education space. Changing Higher Education, June 2011. Retrieved from
http://www.changinghighereducation.com/2011/06/as-regular-readers-of-this-blog-knowi- have-been-using-clayton-christensens-concept-of-disruptive-
innovation-toframe- issues.html#more.
Disruptive Education Models
These options tend to be more collaborative,
social, virtual, and involve more than
technology.
They involve a cultural change called social
learning and, in some cases, crowd sourcing.
The biggest concern for these alternatives is
credentials and acceptance of proof of
proficiency for employers, but soon, that
problem will be solved.
All of these indicate that, someday,
competency-based credentials may compete
degrees.
Kirschner, Ann. 2012. Innovation in Higher Education? HAH. The Chronicle Review, April 13, 2012, pgs B6-B9.
Disruptive Education Models
Soon, hundreds of thousands of people will
be able to learn at one time, pay either
nothing or a small fee, and have potential
employers accept their proven proficiency
and consider them a viable candidate for
open positions.
It is possible one day soon to obtain the
same quality education at a minuscule cost.
The question that needs to be answered is
how traditional higher education is going
to respond.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
More Disruptive Models
Here is a list of advances that are capable of really being
transformative:
Robots
New school models (i.e., Vittra Telefonplan school in Stockholm)
Cloud computing
Working different (Soylent, a crowd powered word processor;
Mechanical Turk, Amazons workplace for the crowd)
New assessment models (Open Badges)
Big data and analytics
New pedagogical models such as OSOSS (online self-organizing
social systems which allows a large number of individuals to self-
organize in a highly decentralized manner in order to solve
problems and accomplish other goals) (Wiley & Edwards, 2003)and
MOOCs
Distributed research and discovery networks
Siemens, George. 2012. What Would a Disrupted Education System Look Like. Presentation given to EDGEx, New Delhi, Society for Learning Analytics Research,
March 12, 2012.
Evolving Models
Here are some evolving models of learning and
competency building that disrupt education as a system:
Unbundled, value-focused, transformed learning
Moving from institution-centric to open learning
including peer-to-peer, communities of practice, cloud
sourcing, knowledge flows/gaps, freerange learning
Many choices, combinations and permutations available,
all at once
Employers collaborating with institutions, certifiers and
success markers to create new workforce learning
models, for lifelong participation this would become
the dominant societal learning culture
Norris, Don. 2012. Industry/Education Partnerships for Student Success. Desire2Learn FUSION 2012 Leadership Program, July 17, 2012
Summary
In conclusion, what have we learned? Weve learned that
disruptive technology exists and has for a long time. Weve
reviewed some possible reasons why disruptive technology is such
a hot topic right now. Weve touched on a few of the most
prevalent disruptive technologies.
It is clear that more and more tools will be labeled disruptive
technologies/disruptive innovation and done so more quickly than
ever before. But, no tool on its own is going to cause true progress
to occur, a transformation.
As President Kennedy concluded his speech at Yale, quoting
Thomas Jefferson, he said The new circumstances under which we
are placed call for new words, new phrases, and for the transfer of
old words to new objects.
Lets confront reality and bring into play those new words, phrases
and objects and embrace the new face of education. Let us not be
frightened by these disruptive technologies and innovations but
look at them as opportunities and paths to progress.
Douglas, Charlene. 2012. Disruptive Innovation In Higher Education: Threat Or Opportunity? Desire2Learn_whitepaper_Disruptive_Innovation_in_Higher_Education1.pdf
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