All posts tagged technology

The College of 2020: My Son

I don’t intend to insert myself too often into this blog. I want primarily to pass along good information, and thought-provoking viewpoints.

But I also want to give some background on why this topic is so important to me. You see, my oldest child will graduate from high school in 2020. So when I think about the college of 2020, I am thinking about my son, and his future. I wonder how well his education is preparing him for a digital, hyper-connected future. I am not the only one who wonders about such things.

My son loves TV and movies. He can get on the computer or play Wii just about anytime he wants. But he usually chooses reading or writing. Mostly, he seems to learn well in groups. He put together a movie in summer camp this year with two kids his age, one of whom knew more about online video editing than most adults. The result is a dreamy wistful piece that might be the first item I grab if our house catches fire. And I wonder how his schooling reinforces such meandering? It doesn’t.

It’s easy to get obsessed as a parent about how well even a 9-year-old is prepared for college. But then, I try to step out of that thought process and think more realistically: My son may never go to college. More likely, he will not define college in the same way I did. The college of 2020 will look a lot different, in fact, it won’t be “traditional” college at all. My son is far more likely to go to several colleges before getting a degree, to take part-time classes, to take a class online, to gain credit for work experience. As an artsy kid, he is going to spend a lot of time writing, and needing one-on-one encouragement. It’s a different kind of learning, the kind most colleges today are not very good at. I believe they will get better, or he will find the kind of encouragement, feedback and learning he needs somewhere else.

There is a fairly good chance he will never really identify with an alma mater the way most of us do. He may never set foot in a dorm, or a campus rec center. His lab work, if any, may be entirely virtual. He may never set foot on a campus at all, except for perhaps the day he graduates.

All of these scenarios are an even more likely outcome for his 6-year-old brother.

I have the concerns most parents have. I need my children to know they are supported and loved, I need to expose my kids to travel and as many life experiences as possible, I need to save more for their education.

But I also have optimism about their college educations. I believe that colleges are about to undergo fundamental changes, driven by competition, deep consumer skepticism, the need to cut costs, and by a crying need for increased productivity. The college of 2020 will be a collection of community driven ideas that focus on learning rather than teaching. The implications of those changes are profound, but necessary. The American system of higher education, as it is currently constituted, is simply unsustainable.

I believe that much of this will happen while my children are still children. And I believe they will be better people because of it.

Incoming search terms:

  • The College of 2020
  • www futurecollege in 2020

The Culture Shift: Future of Higher Education

The College of 2020 will demand an examination of the current education paradigms. The times are a changing.

Incoming search terms:

  • 2020 future culture
  • do you see culture shifting in the future
  • shift of religion in education

The Mobile Campus: Stanford App


This is the fourth post in a four part series on The Mobile Campus. This series examines how students are using smart phones and the impact on higher education. To read the first post on mobile application use click here. To read the second post on Foursquare for universities click here. For the third post on iPad textbooks click here.

For the last post in The Mobile Campus series I wanted to focus on university mobile apps.  Several universities have launched mobile applications for their student body, including Penn State, the University of Maryland, and Texas A&M, but none have been as comprehensive and useful as the app and mobile website developed for Stanford University.

It seems fitting that the prestigious university near Silicon Valley would have a good app, but I didn’t expect this many features. The Stanford app literally does everything and contains everything a student could need. There’s a good reason for this; it was developed by a group of Stanford students. Who needs a website? Stanford truly understands the needs of its student population by offering them anything they could need in their pocket. And students love it – the app has over 1400 five star ratings in the iPhone app store. The features speak for themselves. They include:

  • Athletics: View Athletic schedules, scores, news, and events.
  • Balance: Students are able to check their bill and current balance on their account.
  • Courses: Browse and search course descriptions, times, locations, and view your grades when they are available. If a student has a question or wants to get more information on a course, they can contact the professor directly through the app.
  • Directory: A Mobile Campus directory with department, student, and faculty contact information.  If you find a student or professor you need to reach dial them directly with one click or add them to your contacts.
  • Emergency: Access important numbers and report emergencies.
  • Events: Search and keep track of all of the events on the Stanford campus., including concerts and lecture. Users are able to browse events by name, subject, date, or location.
  • Game: Through CreditU students can get points and earn rewards for going to class. This makes college like a game – which is popular in geolocation apps like Foursqaure and Gowalla.
  • Images: Browse and save images from across the Stanford campus
  • Itunes-U: Stream lectures, concerts, and other video and audio.
  • Library: Find library books by call number and see current availability. Users are also able to access other Library resources.
  • Maps: Lost? Search campus buildings by name and see where they are located relative to your own current location. Looking for the bus? The app also includes real-time bus routes and schedules on the map.
  • News: Read about news from all across the Stanford campus. All departments and all sources – from the Daily to the Graduate School of Business.
  • Radio: Listen to the college station KZSU live.
  • Ride: Request a safe ride home from anywhere on campus.
  • Tour: Take a Tour of the Stanford campus.
  • Trivia – What do you know about Stanford?
  • Videos – Access hundreds of hours of Stanford video content from across the university and stream it directly to your phone.

As campuses across the country develop their own apps and mobile websites, they need to look at Stanford’s app as the benchmark. No other institution is meeting students where they on the Web are and responding to student needs like Stanford.

To learn more about Stanford’s mobile initiatives visit

To visit Stanford’s mobile website check out

To download the iStanford app for the iPhone click here.

Incoming search terms:

  • stanford app
  • mobile campus directory
  • stanford future campus
  • mobile campus
  • mobile app compare with web and desktop app
  • how mobile apps useful in higher education
  • comscore mobile vs desktop
  • visit stanford app
  • student education 2020 app
  • stanford\s campus moblile app