Transformation of Higher Ed: Thank you, and see you next year

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The (Continual) Transformation of Higher Ed

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The (Continual) Transformation of Higher Ed
Transformation of Higher Ed: Thank you, and see you next year
By Clay Shirky • Issue #9 • View online

This is the last, brief note of the year. Mostly I want to say thank you all for subscribing. 
There is no master plan for these essays, and I mean that in the most optimistic and thankful way possible. I needed a place to hash out some linked ideas about higher education. This mailing list, which is to say you all, provides that, and I am grateful.
Just since I started writing, a couple of things have become clearer, and will probably be worth taking on in 2022.
The omicron variant changes the calculations for any ‘Back to normal’ spring, and will likely mean another semester of faculty getting habituated to online tools. The simple increase in familiarity and reduction in friction is already making for easier and wider adoption of online education. 
I mentioned the collapse in students taking the ACT and SAT a few weeks ago; Harvard’s announcement that it will be test-optional til 2026 will make restoring the SAT to a position of default use almost impossible. 
The normalization of the online program manager model got a boost with University of North Carolina’s hundred million dollar Project Kitty Hawk, designed to create large, state-supported online programs for adult learners. There’s no guarantee Kitty Hawk will succeed – Texas’s Institute for Transformational Learning shut down in 2018, and the jury’s still out on California’s Calbright. (Both of those projects also had $100M price tags.) But public funding for state-wide online systems, and especially for adult learners, is potentially transformative, even given it taking thirty years for the states to decide to compete with the for-profits.
So more to write about next year. The next issue will come out January 4th.
And in the meantime, if you’ve seen anything in these first couple of months you think I should be doing more of, or less of, or differently, drop me a line: cshirky@gmail.com.
Thanks,
-clay
The (Continual) Transformation of Higher Education is a newsletter by Clay Shirky. Publishes weekly, more or less.
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