Behind the White House’s Closed-Door Brainstorm on the Future of Higher...

Movers and Shakers

Behind the White House’s Closed-Door Brainstorm on the Future of Higher Education

Aug 3, 2015

INNOVATION THAT INFURIATES: The White House recently held a closed-door meeting on innovation in higher education, exploring questions around quality and outcomes raised by US Under Secretary of Education, Ted Mitchell in a blog post. George Siemens, a Canadian educator credited with leading the first MOOC (contrary to what the media or Stanford often claim) shared a dozen reflections from the event, including the observation that “Higher education generally has no clue about what’s brewing in the marketplace as a whole.” More worrisome was how he was “stunned and disappointed at the lack of focus on data, analytics and evidence.”

The most infuriating takeaway, however, may be “how antagonistic some for-profits are toward public higher education.” He wrote:

I’m getting exceptionally irritated with the narrative of higher education is broken and universities haven’t changed. This is one of the most inaccurate pieces of @#%$ floating around in the “disrupt and transform” learning crowd. Universities are exceptional at innovating and changing. Explore any campus today. It’s a new world on most campuses, never mind the online, competency, and related systems. And if your slide deck includes an image of desks and argues that nothing has changed, you’re being dishonest and disingenuous. Repent. Healing is possible for you, but first you must see the falseness of your words.
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