Higher education is going to look much different in the future, with a greater reliance on teleconferencing and distance learning, according to a recent survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, U.S. News reports. Sixty percent of the 1,021 respondents, which included a variety of technology experts, education professionals, and venture capitalists, agree that hybrid learning, which combines online education with in-class instruction, and “individualized, just-in-time learning approaches” will be much more common by the year 2020.

“[T]echnology will allow for more individualized, passion-based learning by the student, greater access to master teaching, and more opportunities for students to connect to others ? for enhanced learning experiences,” wrote Charlie Firestone, executive director of the Communications and Society Program at the Aspen Institute, whose comments as a survey respondent were included in the report. One major factor that will drive technological innovation in higher education over the next decade, according to survey respondents, is the steep cost of higher education. According to data provided by 1,009 colleges and universities to U.S. News, college graduates completed their degrees in 2010 with an average loan burden of $24,962, and nationwide, the student loan debt has passed $1 trillion…

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