Scottsdale, Ariz. — Hundreds of investment bankers, venture capitalists and geeky tech entrepreneurs gathered near the pool of the Phoenician, a luxury resort outside Phoenix. The occasion? A high-profile gathering of education innovators, and as guests sipped cocktails, the mood was upbeat.
Major innovations — forged by the struggles of the Great Recession and fostered by technology — are coming to higher education.
Investment dollars are flooding in — a record-smashing 168 venture capital deals in the U.S. alone last year, according to the springtime conference’s host, GSV Advisors. The computing power of “the cloud” and “big data” are unleashing new software. Public officials, desperate to cut costs and measure results, are open to change.
And everyone, it seems, is talking about MOOCs, the “Massive Open Online Courses” offered by elite universities and enrolling millions worldwide.
As with so many innovations — from the light bulb to the Internet — the technology is emerging mostly in the United States, fueled by American capital. But as with those past innovations, the impact will be global. In this case, it may prove even more consequential in developing countries, where mass higher education is new and the changes could be built into emerging systems.
[ Full article available at The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130804/NATION/308040008 ]