Monday, August 24, 2015

Data, Technology, and the Great Unbundling of Higher Education - Ryan Craig and Allison Williams, EDUCAUSE Review

In other industries, unbundling has driven fundamental change. Over the past decade, sales of recorded music are down 50 percent and continue to fall each year. Digital technology has forced a revolution in a business model that, in the past, relied on bundling the music that consumers wanted (singles) with the music that they didn't want (the rest of the album). Now, in a music industry unbundled by technology, consumers purchase only the products they want. In the television industry, viewers now watch individual shows, thanks to DVRs and Netflix, rather than channels or networks. Once viewers are given a mechanism for paying only for the shows they watch rather than the thousands they don't, cable and satellite TV bills will collapse. Where does this leave the higher education bundle? At present, degrees remain the currency of the labor market. But as currency, they're about as portable as the giant stone coins used on the island of Yap. What if technology could produce a finer currency that would be accepted by consumers and employers alike? http://er.educause.edu/articles/2015/8/data-technology-and-the-great-unbundling-of-higher-education

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