By Bob Daugherty
President, Chancellor University
“You say you want a revolution,” wrote John Lennon in 1968.
Performed by the Beatles in the song “Revolution” on the famous White Album, it was inspired by political protests. The lyrics expressed doubt about some of the tactics used by the protestors.
Just like Lennon, we have our doubts; doubts about those who are trying to reform higher education using the bully pulpit of the politician’s chair. Instead of focusing precious time and energy on fixing the U.S. K-12 educational system (which is non-competitive, insolvent and stagnated by unions,) the last four years have seen a lot of political focus on post-secondary education reform in the U.S. But no matter, our aspiration remains the same – to reinvent the future of higher education using innovative, high quality curriculum and technology – and we believe America and the world will be the better for it.
Change is coming and it is coming fast. Like revolutions – whether social or political – a sudden, complete and marked change in higher education is coming. Education technology and the innovative use of content, curriculum, and expert faculty, will be leading us to this brighter future. At the end of this revolution will be a civilization where most all of the world’s population will have access to abundant opportunities – to learn, work and contribute.
Who is leading this revolution? The students, of course, and they’re doing it by how they are choosing to interact.
Digital communication is taking more of our time and is replacing face-to-face contact. In a series of surveys conducted by Pew Internet & American Life Project and Elon University School of Communications between 2004 and 2010, researchers found that one in four people (2008) prefer to communicate through email rather than face-to-face conversation. They suspect that by 2020, this number will rise to three in four. In 2011, American adults spent 167 minutes a day (2.8 hours) on average online, 22% higher than in 2008. When you add in mobile communications, American adults spent 232 minutes a day (3.9 hours) online and using mobile technologies, compared to 169 minutes a day (2.8 hours) in 2008. This is a 37% increase in only two years.
The trend is online, the trend is digital. Talking about a revolution, just not in person.