You won’t often find the lieutenant governor of a state at a higher-ed conference, but there was Gavin Newsom of California sitting next to me on Tuesday at UCLA for a discussion about how online learning might help the state’s cash-starved public colleges increase access. He wasn’t there just for a photo-op. He stayed basically the entire day and took notes. A lot of them, and on the subject (I looked). He rarely glanced down at his phone.
The meeting was another in a series of what seem like weekly gatherings on the subject of innovation in higher ed. At most of those meetings, I’m struck by some important constituency that is not represented. Most of the time it’s the faculty. Sometimes it’s lawmakers or trustees. And other times it’s students, especially the students who will be arriving on college campuses in the next few years.
But the organizers of this symposium, the Twenty Million Minds Foundation, succeeded more than most at getting all the key voices in the room, from the various innovation movements (MOOCs, competency-based degrees, open learning, prior learning, and new higher-ed providers), the faculty unions, the academic senates, politicians, college presidents, and finally, actual live students…read more