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Why every education leader must be a tech visionary

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?

Read more ›

Ed tweets of the month

New Knerds

Meet Rex, Dvora, Adam, Shreya, and Prithvi ›

Featured ed effort

The computer science industry is growing rapidly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for software developers is expected to increase at least 28% by 2020.

The job prospects are great, but the number of women in the field is still lacking. Enter Girl Develop It, an organization working to empower women around the world to learn to code. The organization holds classes in cities from New York to Seattle to Sydney to help create an international network of female software engineers.

Says Girl Develop It Advisory Board Member Erynn Petersen: "Many people, especially women, believe that if they missed out on a computer science degree they've missed the boat on a career developing and building products. We teach women to code, and in doing so help close the gap by helping women move into technology roles."

KNEWTON NEWS

Today, Knewton announced a partnership with leading global publisher Macmillan Education. Macmillan will use Knewton technology to provide personalized recommendations and analytics for next-generation products targeted to the English Language Teaching market in over 120 countries worldwide. Read more ›

KNERD ALERT

Mathematics Content Expert

Data Scientist

Sr. Security Engineer

Senior Product Manager

Software Engineer - Big Data

Designer

See all open jobs 

ED OP-ED

"There’s never been a perfect formula for success, but a generation or two ago, things were arguably more straightforward. If you worked hard in high school, got good grades, graduated, and went on to college or a vocational program, you’d find yourself well on your way to a solid career. You could safely rely on an education as a way to improve your life.

Not so much today, as this path seems to lead more to mirages than any promised land..." 

Read more in this article by Knewton COO David Liu ›

N CHOOSE K

What does classical music have to do with computer science? The latest post on N Choose K, the Knewton tech blog, explores the link.

EDTECH BUZZ

Georgia Tech, Udacity to offer Master's degree (EdSurge)

Electrical brain stimulation helps people learn math faster (Wired)

Laptop U: Has the future of college moved online? (New Yorker)

@ KNEWTON HQ

May 28
Here a MOOC, There a MOOC... (New York EdTech meetup)

May 30
Other Uses of R in a Bank (NY Open Stats Meetup)

UPCOMING CONFERENCES

Find Knerds at: 

June 5 - 7
APSCU 2013: A leading conference on private sector higher education. 

June 12 - 14
Founders Forum: Founder and CEO Jose Ferreira will be in London for a gathering of leading entrepreneurs.

June 19 - 20 
Eduventures Annual Conference: Knewton VP of Product Brian Fitzgerald will speak at this conference about innovation in higher ed. 

June 23 - 26
ISTE 2013: One of the year's largest edtech expositions. Jose Ferreira and others will be present in San Antonio, TX.