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The digital revolution saves the top edition

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The digital revolution saves the top edition

The most famous oracle, which predicted the death of scientists, was the late Harvard University professor Clayton Christensen, who in 2011. glorious forecast that “50 percent of the 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. will go bankrupt in 10-15 years.” His prophecy was based on the idea that digital alternatives to full-time education – which he said were much cheaper and friendlier than regular education – would persuade millions of students to turn away from the heavy old campuses to get their diplomas online. instead an alternative.

A year earlier, Stanford University computer scientist Sebastian Troon, co-founder of commercial provider MOOC Udacity, surpassed Christiansen, predicting an even bleaker future for face-to-face classes, arguing that 50 years from now, streaming lectures are so undermining conventional higher education. only 10 American colleges will remain operational.

Even Bill Gates of Microsoft predicted that online education would undermine the foundations of American colleges, completely destabilizing the university.

But instead of striking a crushing blow, the opposite happened.

The high priests of high technology spoke, but they were wrong. Digital innovation has not brought traditional higher education to its knees. Instead, he played a key role in helping him survive. No college has perished entirely because of digital competition.

And think about what could happen to colleges during a pandemic without the ability to switch to online learning?

“As a result, distance learning in higher education has avoided what could have been a disaster,” said Michael Goldstein, managing director of Tyton Partners, an investment banking and consulting firm in higher education. “In the pandemic, digital education has allowed students to continue their education almost entirely continuously, teachers to remain mostly employed, and institutions to continue to do business – perfectly supporting most of their academic revenue streams.”

“If it weren’t for the widespread digital infrastructure before the pandemic,” Goldstein continued, “it wouldn’t be possible for the Internet to grow so smoothly if classes lined up like in Hollywood Square.”

The cascade of brick and mortar colleges never took place. Less than 90 colleges have died in the last few years, most likely in part due to COVID-19 pressure rather than deaths from digital crashes. And a third of them are profits has been under stress for years before the pandemic.

Colleges are experiencing a lot of stress, but competition from online alternatives to traditional campuses is low on the pressure list. Bigger forces include falling high school graduation rates, especially in New England and the Midwest, and cuts in public funding in many regions. Although the pandemic hit the top very hard, it also fueled an increase in the number of students studying exclusively by correspondence.

Unlike the newspaper industry, which has suffered from the destruction of the Internet, closing thousands of local newspapers in recent decades, colleges and universities are slowly adapting to the virtual revolution, allowing online courses and diplomas to sneak into the top ed. A recent review of the Department of Education’s integrated higher education data system revealed a surprising new finding that even before the pandemic, more than half of college students in the U.S. have been enrolled in at least one online course. The largest universities in the United States – Western Governors and Southern New Hampshire – report more than 100,000 people, mostly online.

Teachers’ widespread opposition to digital education has not hindered distance learning for many years. As the digital revolution broke into the cultural and commercial spheres of the country, virtual versions separated from earlier products of the industrial era, often overturning them. But the university turned on the lights in the old classrooms and left the windows open to let in the digital clouds. Despite the fact that the Internet has destroyed the world economy, fortunately, the university continued its education in both analog and digital classes nearby.

Perhaps the most telling recent data suggests that had it not been for online enrollment, the current decline in the number of university students would have been much more severe. As the chart below, prepared by astute edtech consultant Phil Hill, the number of enrollments – given fully online college students – fell by 1.5 million from the fall of 2012 to the fall of 2020. But excluding online students, the current decline in the number of university students has dropped much more – to almost 7.5 million.

The chart is a fascinating reflection of how much virtual education has helped save national colleges and universities from even worse suffering.

I’m not arguing that distance learning is so powerful that it will in itself become a utopian driving force capable of turning a higher level. Colleges and universities are facing a storm of worrying challenges that cannot be mitigated by digital education alone. But in an unexpected shift after the pandemic, senior scientists are no longer releasing it to the background.

Recognizing its crucial role in maintaining the supreme ed. many colleges and universities are now cautiously moving the internet forward.

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