Degree-based Education is doomed... and so are your degrees!

This is from my blog mtrout.com 

I am predicting right now that within ten to twenty-years the idea of degree based education years will become a thing of the 20th century broken educational model. How can I make such a claim? Well, simple we all know that a degree is really worthless in todays market and what is really wanted is EXPERIENCE. How do I know this... Well, currently I am looking to find Federal Enterprise Architects for a project for Dept of Homeland Security and it doesn't matter how much education, what school you attended or training they have, what is sought after is applied knowledge. They want someone with 5+ years of FEA. I drill top executives... How many years have you done FEA? Where? How many segments have they written etc... In what area? What technologies to you know? What specific kind and how much time in each? I'm  sorry but your $200k our masters degree from Harvard or MIT is absolutely worthless to me! Understand that debt is a economic driving force and the entire capitalistic market is all about who owns it and controls it. That's the real power... The other reality is that there is no guarantees in a degree either... their is really nothing tangible or measurable about it. However, experience has milestones, accomplishments and real outcomes.

So where is education headed? Education 3.0 or as I call it #e3o on twitter. E3o is the next evolution of education and it is going to be a really exciting reincarnation/reinvention. Its impact will be far greater than other Great Leaps humanity has undergone: speech, writing, the industrial revolution, the information revolution...and so on.  The turning point will be what I have named "the Education Singularity" or "eSingularity" event -- this is the moment when any 2 yr old on a smart device running autonomous learning software will playfully and entertainingly guide any child to an grade equivalent education in Math, Science and Language arts.   We are just years away from such technology coming out in the West (it wont be free initially...but it will be eventually). When eSingularity happen's a Pandora's Box will have been open that will set in motion the collapse of the Western Educational Complex that for 3000 years has monopolized and governed over Western education and the rest of the world (Probably at this point you are laughing like I am Don Quixote describing dragons and all you see are windmills... but that's okay. New paradigms are tough to swallow the first time :) The eSingularity Dragon is coming.  It is a Pandora's Box because taking the nest leap to universal free education in all subject matters will be relatively easy to step to make.  And when that happens... well, you can use your imagination.  The shit will hit the fan!

Some milestones... Opensource media platform Kaltura 2007, Development of smartphones and their dominance over PC 2010. Apple buying Siri on April 28th 2010. Siri is a very rudimentary autonomous platform that acts as an personal assistant. Using the imagination one could easily see Apple releasing "Siri app finder" and coming out and "Siri Ed" for powering iPhone apps learning with Siri and doing some very cool things with it. I can imagine a host of other simple autonomous apps too... when others see the power and usability of Siri other autonomous software apps start hitting the market.  And out of this will evolve the autonomous software industry.  What these apps will do is allow anyone to take content and turn it into learning modules that can be translated into any of the 6782 languages and autonomously delivered to any smart device... Learning Engines like the Cerego engine will track these modules and actually deliver them intelligently to an end-user. I will be able to tell my smart phone what I want to learn and it would not only train me but also provide me the skill challenges that we only traditionally learn by experience... maybe it will be VR or augmented delivered or in other problem solving method... the ways we will be able to deliver the challenges and experiences would be near infinite and completely up to the the imagination of the community builders using easy to use autonomous software tools.

The eventual outcome is what we know will not be displayed on a CV, but more like a bar-code that is unique to me and only me. It would tell you EVERYTHING I chose to release to you. Maybe "Active ID (tm)" would allow anyone to just scan me with another smart device and provide you with my life playlist of my actual accomplishment, activities, roi, learning ability and education... No lies more BS or silly meaningless degrees!

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Let's discuss another issue Michael. Why is EDUIT 503C? Do you survive on donations or do you sell things but because of your status you do not pay taxes? I will give you credit for an uncanny ability to oversimplify things.
Actually, we are a 100% volunteer organization. Recently, I established Foundups Corp as a Delaware C-Corp and rolled off EDUIT eSingularity Prize as a partnership. The ePrize will be a profit venture.
There are opportunities for significant changes in the way higher education is delivered, and opportunities to change the traditional degree.

SHORTER DEGREES

Some topics may be open to greater change than others. For example, the duration of some courses could be made much less than three years. It depends on how much critical base knowledge is required before a graduate can be safely released into industry. It might be that general businesses only require one year's worth of education (or less) to reach that critical base knowledge. However some subjects, such as science, might require more years of education before they reach the base level for their industry.

As someone here pointed out, a lot of graduates go into industries that are unrelated to their degree. Perhaps this adds weight to the argument that a shorter duration degree would be both useful and cost effective. When a graduate then chooses their career, higher education could be used to provide the relevant specialist knowledge.

CONTENT

The quantity and quality of online content continues to grow and grow. Excellent free learning resources now exist online. Clearly there is a big opportunity here; and a question about the future role of universities, in terms of providing content. This doesn't mean that all universities can simply stop producing content because part of this role drives the quality and quantity of the online content.

STANDARDS

As someone here pointed out, we still need to ensure that standards are maintained and that certificates are awarded. This means there's still a big role for assessment, and standards bodies.
Adam,
This is a great post and you are so right. We need to have more choices and we especially need to tell the kids in high school that they do not need to get a lifetime of education as soon as they leave high school. For years I have advised students of limited income to go to the more affordable community college and get an associates degree. If they go to work then they can frequently get help from their employer to continue their education. If they like the job they have then they know exactly what they need from college. The colleges should be able to design a custom degree to meet their needs. This is another difference in online education. You do not go through registration and select classes and instructors. I do not think students should be able to select teachers. This is one of the reasons we have grade inflation. A teacher gets a reputation for being an easy grader so everyone rushes to sign up.
Hmmm Bill Gates is pretty much saying it too... The 3000 yr old Educational Complex will be coming to an end in 21st Century.
Perhaps not.

You might be interested in directing your constituency to the below high performance teaching methods and reform effort in teacher education.

Tony Manzo

See:http://teacherprofessoraccountability.ning.com/main/invitation/new?...And…http://bestmethodsofinstruction.com/
Or our newest site featuring advanced teaching methods for and concerns ofProfessional Teachers: http://anthony-manzo.blogspot.com/2010/05/race-to-top-accountabilit... 

Respectfully, 

Anthony V.Manzo Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri-KC,&

Director of TheCenter for the Study of Higher Literacy, 

Governor,Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program; 

(ret.) California State University-Fullerton(tmanzo@fullerton.edu)

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