In Revolution, Dr. DeMillo continues where he left off with Abelard, noting that “most American colleges and universities are locked in a system that is anything but excellent.” The “Middle” represents the 4,000 colleges and universities just below the elite level, the ones that are “in trouble.” The Middle schools enroll 80 percent of all students, are in financial disrepair and their historical inability to control costs has reduced public confidence in the value of a college degree. Without innovation, cost increases at institutions will continue to repel prospective students.
Jeff Selingo, author of College (Un)bound, recently released his latest book, a primer for parents of college-aged children. He maintains that today’s teenagers and young adults have many challenges ahead of them after college graduation and that it’s appropriate to start thinking about how to manage your career as soon as you finish high school. Selingo notes that the education system is out of sync with the economy and that college is a platform for lifelong learning that we will leave and return to whenever we need further education and training to get ahead in our existing job or to switch careers.
While reading a book about technology’s influence on future jobs, I found a reference to James Barrat’s book, Our Final Invention. My curiosity was piqued because Our Final Invention was portrayed not as a “how to” book about artificial intelligence (AI), but rather a book about the dangers of creating it. The description is accurate.
While reading James Barrat’s book, Our Final Invention, about artificial intelligence and its impact on humanity, I came across the following paragraph.
“Advances in natural language processing will transform parts of the economy that until now have seemed immune to technological change. In another few years librarians and researchers of all kinds will join retail clerks, bank tellers, travel agents, stock brokers, loan officers, and help desk technicians in the unemployment lines.
When I read that author Jon McGee had spent the last 14 years as a cabinet officer at two liberal arts colleges, I thought it was an interesting parallel to my nearly equivalent time served at a wholly online institution. While we serve a different clientele (his students are traditional, residential, full-time, 18-22 year-olds and ours are working adults studying part-time online), our viewpoints are nearly identical: higher education faces major challenges, and institutions need to anticipate and prepare for change, rather than simply react to it.
Richard and Daniel Susskind, professor and lecturer, respectively, at Oxford University, are one of the rare father/son co-author combinations. Richard has previously written about the reduced need for attorneys due to technology innovations and his son Daniel has served in economic policy positions in the British government. An extension of Richard Susskind’s research on the impact of technology on the legal profession, The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts, addresses many other professions, including healthcare, education, divinity, journalism, management consulting, tax and audit accounting, and architecture.
While preparing a speech about the impact of technology on higher education, I found a reference from the “Transforming Higher Education” chapter in Martin Ford’s new book, Rise of the Robots. Curious about the thematic link with higher education, I bought a copy. As expected, I found parallels with other books that I had reviewed, including Nicholas Carr’s The Big Switch and Brynholfsson’s and McAfee’s The Second Machine Age.
I can’t remember many non-fiction book authors whose multiple tomes have generated as much interest as Nicholas Carr’s information technology related works. Two of his three previous books, The Big Switch and The Shallows, were reviewed by me for this blog. The Glass Cage was published by Carr last year and I finally pulled it off the shelf determined to read it over the holiday weekend.
In his latest book, Dr. Peter Cappelli tackles the complex subject of Will College Pay Off? in consumer-friendly terms understandable by parents, students and policymakers. I admire his bold approach (full disclosure: he was a member of my doctoral dissertation committee) but as an active higher education participant, wonder if anyone can adequately describe and summarize all of the issues related to whether or not attending a particular college will pay off for a student.
The best non-fiction tells a story rather than provides an analytical narrative. Kevin Carey’s new book, The End of College, weaves a compelling story about innovations in information technology that will disrupt the meritocracy of elite colleges and universities and enable low-cost education for hundreds of millions of people worldwide: “The University of Everywhere.”
Instead of attending traditional institutions, students will access books, lecture videos, and digital learning environments through the Internet.