How the future of higher education affects businesses

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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Students aren’t ‘nonchalant’ about Facebook privacy, report says

Frequent Facebook users are more likely to change their privacy settings.
Frequent Facebook users are more likely to change their privacy settings.

A close look at college students’ reaction to Facebook privacy policies revealed concern about online identities as news outlets pushed the issue to the forefront with increasing coverage in 2009 and 2010, according to a report released this month.

Eszter Hargittai, an associate professor at Northwestern University’s communication studies department, and Danah Boyd, a researcher for Microsoft Research and a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, found that most Facebook members altered their privacy settings in the past year while privacy advocates railed against gaps in the social media site’s identification security.

Hargittai and Boyd based their report on a survey of University of Illinois Chicago students conducted during the 2008-09 academic year and the 2009-10 school year. The researchers had a response rate of 45 percent among more than 1,000 students surveyed. The researchers’ report is published in the journal First Monday.…Read More

Social media use on the rise, but fewer young people are blogging

The use of mobile devices has led to shorter forms of communication among youth.
The use of mobile devices has led to shorter forms of communication among youth.

The use of social-networking web sites among young Americans continues to climb, with nearly three-fourths of American teens now using these sites. But fewer teens and young adults are blogging now than four years ago, and the number of those who use Twitter is still very low.

These are among the findings of a new study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, called “Social Media & Mobile Internet Use Among Teens and Young Adults.” Released Feb. 3, the study reveals new trends with implications for schools.

The study found that young people are losing interest in long-form blogging, as their communication habits have become increasingly brief and mobile. Technology experts say it doesn’t mean blogging is going away. Instead, they say, it has gone the way of the telephone and eMail—still useful, just not trendy.…Read More