Education technology could be transformed by a project aimed at improving college readiness and completion rates, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education. The Gates Foundation and several partners have teamed with Educause to start Next Gen Learning Challenges. A new set of challenges will be issued every six to 12 months, explains Josh Jarrett, a senior program manager for Gates.
And we’ll issue a set of challenges this fall around shared open-core courseware, around learning analytics, around blended learning, and around new, deeper forms of learning and engagement using interactive technologies.
Access isn’t an issue any more, Jarrett says. The challenge is designing high-quality courses. He also sees online learning creating new relationships through sites like FinalsClub, which lets students collaborate, or Inigral‘s Schools on Facebook, which builds social connections around class work.
Online education brands should emulate H&M, the low-cost retailer, Jarrett says.
Shopping there versus at Brooks Brothers, your Brooks Brothers suit might be a little bit nicer than mine, but I paid one-tenth the price. People look admiringly on my choice of shopping at H&M, as opposed to “Oh, poor guy, he could only go to H&M.” And so I think that’s the question: Is there an opportunity for brands to emerge that are very cost-effective for students but do not symbolize degradation in quality?
How much money will go into Next Gen? The foundation isn’t saying yet.