Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for 21st Century...

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Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for 21st Century...

Postby Gus Sainz » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:25 pm

Colleges around the world will have to change their business and credentialing models to adapt to emerging technology if they want to maintain their importance, according to computer science professors at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for 21st Century Universities.

Online learning is continuing to grow and develop within higher education, and it may be changing the value of a college degree, according to ongoing research at the center.

“What it means is that the university needs to rethink what it’s doing, how it’s doing it,” said Paul Baker, a professor at Georgia Tech, in a recent Q&A with “And how it innovates in a way of surviving in the face of this.”

The ability for websites like virtually shut down big retailers like Borders, could pose a similar threat to the physical university, Baker said.

Distance learning is a growing part of the future, according Richard Demilo, director of Georgia Tech’s Center for 21st Century Universities. Social media and other communications advancements over the last decade have made it possible for students in India to be educated by top professors at Stanford, according to Demilo.

“What you’re seeing, for example, is technology enabling a single master teacher to reach students on an individualized basis on a scale that is unprecedented,” Demilo said to “So when Sebastian Thrun offers his Intro to Robotics course and gets 150,000 students — that’s a big deal.”

The number of undergraduates enrolled in at least one distance-education class in the U.S. increased from 8 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2008, according to a report released by the National Institution for Education Statistics. The number of students enrolled in a distance learning degree program doubled in the same time frame.

Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for 21st Century Universities encourages online education
Gus Sainz
Gus Sainz
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