10 Reasons for Optimism About Ed Tech in 2018

campus buildings and sky

There is so much discussion of crisis and decline in higher education these days that it’s easy to forget what is going right. Returning to the bright, cold Duke campus today I can’t help but be optimistic about the new semester about to begin. There are so many topics to learn, so much knowledge being created and shared here every day.

For those who do not have the benefit of living in the rhythms of great university, allow me to share some new year’s reflections about innovations in learning – here at Duke and across the country – that give me hope for 2018.

1) The emerging HAIL Storm network of higher education innovators from within. 

2) Low income graduation rates are up at institutions that dedicate resources and analytics to improving them. According to college completion data released today by the University Innovation Alliance (UIA), “low-income graduates … increased by 24.7 percent among participating universities over the past three years.”

3) The Next Generation Digital Learning Environment vision started to take shape with Tsugi and the ELMS: Learning Network.

4) Edthena published Evidence of Practice: Playbook for Video-Powered Professional Learning, a book about the impact and potential of video for classroom observation and improvement through feedback.

5) The Practice team were recognized for the impressive student video peer review tech they built (and Instructure will preserve their autonomy).

6) Authorea built (on top of GitHub) the cleanest, easiest UI for collaborative scholarly creation – for researchers and students. (No LaTeX required.) 

7) Launch of Credential Engine for transparency, articulation and interoperability among new (and not new) credentials. It includes the first standard machine readable markup language to describe credentials.

8) Gradescope saved educators thousands of hours through better grading workflow and rubric tools for paper and digital assignments. I’m excited to pilot with them campus-wide at Duke in 2018.

9) Slack started to take education seriously. (Educators have recognized its potential for years.) 

10) The OSPRI Lab at Duke launched the Open Source Education Technology project. Our brilliant students are building the next generation of learning tools (all open source), guided by my wonderful colleague Aria Chernik (SSRI) and the staff at Duke Learning Innovation.

(Reposted from Twitter)