I had bookmarked a post last fall on emergingedtech.com about digital disruption and it got me wondering about just how disruptive some recent "disruptors" have actually been to education. The article lists six: Delivery, Flipped Classroom, Tools Available, Micro-credentialing, Competency-Based Education (CBE) and Learning Science.
You can argue with their six choices, but they are all disruptors. I might have added others, such as Open Education Resources, including MOOC, but I suppose that might fall under "delivery" too.
In 2012, when I was deep into MOOCland, I read The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out. It is co-written by Clayton Christensen, who is considered "the father of the theory of disruptive innovation." His previous books include The Innovator's Dilemma, which examined business innovation, and The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators
After four decades as an educator, I would say that education in general gets disrupted rather slowly, but here are some thoughts on these disruptions. Are we talking about disruption in K-12 or higher education, or in the whole of educations.
By DELIVERY, they are including, and probably focused on, online delivery. The US DOE reported back in 2012 that 1 in 4 students has taken some or all of their courses online, and that figure is predicted to grow steadily. In higher ed, online learning is firmly in place. It disrupted, and now the waters have calmed. In K-12, the disruption is still to come.
The FLIPPED CLASSROOM was big a few years ago in K-12. It never really caught on or was part of the conversation in higher ed. It's not gone and it is still being tweaked and studied. This idea of on continues to expand. The annual Horizons Report for 2015 predicted this would have widespread adoption immediately, but that didn't happen.
Certainly the number and VARIETY OF TOOLS available to educators has grown and continues to grow every week. Viewed as an umbrella of tools, they are more disruptive than any individual tool. We have seen many predictions that adaptive learning tools, VR and AR, 3D printing and other tools would radically change they way we teach. None of them have "changed everything."
Maybe you're seeing a pattern in my responses. There hasn't been a major disruption. When I wondered four years ago who was really being disrupted in higher ed, I was thinking about what a University 2.0 might mean. I have the larger category on this blog of Education 2.0. We definitely moved into Web 2.0 after only a few decades, but after a few centuries education is beyond 1.0 but not over the line into a major change that I would consider 2.0.
I do believe that things like MICRO-CREDENTIALING, CBE and the growth of LEARNING SCIENCE will change things. Combined, all these disruptors will certainly move us closer to that Education 2.0.
Beyond micro-credentialing, I see an entire reconsideration of credits and degrees as the biggest disruption to traditional education (as opposed to learning). Will movements like the Lumina Foundation's framework for “connecting diverse credentials” unite (or divide) non-traditional sources like MOOC courses and professional development training?
That leads right into Competency Based Education. The Department of Education (which plays a much bigger role in K-12) seems to be very serious about CBE. This is big disruption of the centuries old clock hours and seat time for credits towards degrees.
LEARNING SCIENCE that is deepening what we know about how we learn, and the relationship between different tools, may have a bigger impact on pedagogy than on how a school looks when you walk into a classroom.
Maybe the Internet or "technology" should be the disruptor we point to that changed education as it touches all of these other disruptors.