The big American robot push


Screenshot 2019-03-07 11.09.08

In a challenge to the narrative of a declining American advantage in the global tech race, U.S. factories are installing record numbers of robots — and elite universities, endowed with huge new contributions, are adding vast centers to study artificial intelligence.

Why it matters: As we have reported previously, China has a massive global lead in the absolute number of new factory robots, and is pouring large sums into developing AI. But the twin U.S. trendlines — a surge in university research spending and the spike in robots — suggest a still-robust competition to dominate technologies of the future.

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Are universities failing their graduates?


“Our universities are failing us.”

By Richard Kirby: Universities are failing their graduates in many ways. My purpose in addressing such topics is not to chastise higher education, which I don’t believe can be reformed, but rather to warn future educational consumers and help more recent graduates improve their odds of career success.



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Are universities terrified of MOOCs?

The internet has made it possible for people to educate themselves, independently or in groups large and small, on an unprecedented scale.

There hasn’t been much change in universities since the Middle Ages. Universities have the campus with its lecture halls, dormitories, libraries, and laboratories surrounded by leafy quadrangles. They have added giant sports complexes, gyms and swimming pools, and gourmet restaurants, but the basic layout is the same. And the production process hasn’t changed since around 1200. Professors give lectures, students read books and take notes, there are examinations and grades, along with the occasional tutoring session, and a great deal of hanky panky. The professors wear tweed jackets instead of gowns, and the students wear – well, just about anything, including pajamas – but otherwise the university remains one of society’s most conservative institutions.



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Only 150 of 3500 colleges in the U.S. are worth the investment

Student debt is second largest source of U.S. household debt, after only mortgages.

Some of the greatest colleges and universities in the world are in the U.S. But with the student debt load at more than $1 trillion and youth unemployment elevated, when assessing the value of a college education, that’s only one part of the story.



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MOOC mania – more action in 1 year than the last 1,000 years

MOOCs are a powerful force for good.

Where did all of the MOOC mania come from? It came faster than Facebook and it’s here to stay. In just a year MOOCs emerged from a unique mix of entrepreneurial spirit, a few leading US Universities, supported by not-for-profits and venture capital. It’s an ecosystem that can take an idea and support it through to a sustainable business. That’s impressive.



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California universities are aggressively expanding online courses

The online education movement is transforming physical colleges at a fast pace.

The California State University system is the largest university system in America and they are aggressively expanding its experimental foray into Massive Online Open Learning (MOOCs), based on an unusually promising pilot course.  They will offer a special “flipped” version of an electrical engineering course at 11 more universities, where students watch online lectures from Harvard and MIT at home, while class time is devoted to hands-on problem solving. A San Jose State University pilot found that the flipped class increased pass rates a whopping 46%, which university President Mohammad Qayoumi believes is enough to move full-steam ahead.



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A dozen big-name universities join Coursera to offer free online classes


In the last week, more universities signed on with Coursera.

Free online courses from prestigious universities were a rarity a few months ago. Now, they are the cause for announcements every few weeks, as a field suddenly studded with big-name colleges and competing software platforms evolves with astonishing speed.

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Biggest challenge for colleges isn’t price, it’s students’ attention

college classroom

As colleges try to deliver more education at the same price, schools will move into the crowded and distractable world of the Web.

Last year, the University of Phoenix enlisted renowned Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen to record a lecture. The university reserved a harbor-view room for Christensen and populated it with young people, so that the camera operators could record their reactions.

Before he began to speak, Christensen noticed that the audience appeared unusually engaged and attractive.

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Discover the Hidden Patterns of Tomorrow with Futurist Thomas Frey
Unlock Your Potential, Ignite Your Success.

By delving into the futuring techniques of Futurist Thomas Frey, you’ll embark on an enlightening journey.

Learn More about this exciting program.