By Jose Ferreira, Knewton founder & CEO
Education, like many industries before it, is now having its internet moment.
There are two great phases unfolding. The first is the shift to digital materials for use either in blended learning courses or as a replacement for the printed textbook. This shift is now well underway in the U.S. Before long, there will be no more printed textbooks.
There are so many implications of all these changes that one can be forgiven for thinking it is hopeless to make sense of them. But the alternative — not worrying about it at all — probably isn’t the right answer either. I try in this newsletter to break down one implication at a time. Today I’d like to discuss how this coming world of digital education is changing the roles of everyone in the education ecosystem — in particular its leaders.
Leadership positions in education, whether at universities or learning companies, have recently undergone a crucial change (though not everyone has realized it yet). Namely, every education leadership position must now include as part of its skill-set the role of “tech visionary.”
By “tech visionary,” I don’t mean that education leaders must dream up their own new tech-enabled products. Far from it. But it is absolutely critical that a leader in education has a strong, informed opinion about where technology will lead the industry in the next few years, and that he or she plans accordingly.
What’s at stake?
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