The Wired Tower: Perspectives on the Impact of the Internet on Higher Education brings together leading thinkers and doers to assess the new realities of the Internet in higher education. Edited by Blackboard, Inc. Chairman Matthew Pittinsky, the book identifies key drivers of technology-related change, five transformative Internet-based learning practices most likely to succeed and explores every facet of Internet-related change. The book also includes original contributions from Neil Postman (The End of Education) and Arthur Levine, President, Columbia University Teacher's College.
The Wired Tower Author: Matthew Serbin Pittinsky Table of Contents Table of Contents Preface. 1. Transformation Through Evolution. From Dot-Com to Dot-Edu. The Roots of E-Learning. The Potential for Great Change. 2. Higher Education: A Revolution Externally, Evolution Internally. The Coming Revolution. The Coming Evolution. Conclusions for the Nation. 3. E-Learning in the Postsecondary Education Market: A View from Wall Street. Increasing Enrollments Should Drive Growth. Expenditures Support E-Learning Growth. Distance Learning in Postsecondary Education. Forces Driving Distance Learning. Distance Learning Beneficial to Bricks-and-Mortar Education. Online Communities in Postsecondary Education. 4. The Emerging Global E-Education Industry. Education Economics and the Growth of the Private Sector. Marketplace Realities: World Participation in Postsecondary Education. Readiness of the World Market. Language Communities Online and Market Position of English Language Instruction. Education and E-Learning as International Trade. Barriers and Challenges to a Global E-Learning Industry: Infrastructure and Access Issues. Case Studies. Concluding Reflections. Endnotes. 5. Quality, Cost and Access: The Case for Redesign. Endnotes. 6. Where the Rubber Meets the Road: An On-Campus Perspective of a CIO. People, Organizational Structure, Financial Resources, and Policies. Technology Infrastructure. Technology Standards. Institutions That Go Beyond the Envelope. Summary. 7. Questioning Media. What Problem Gets Solved by this New Technology? Whose Problem Is It? What New Problems Are Created After Solving an Old Problem? Who and What Might Be Harmed by a Technological Solution? Are Changes Gained and Lost with New Technologies? Who and What Acquire Power Due to Technological Change? Endnotes. 8. Five Great Promises of E-Learning. Prediction 1: Convergence of Modalities. Prediction 2: New and More Sophisticated Academic Technologies. Prediction 3: Data Mining. Prediction 4: The Learner Profile. Prediction 5: Ubiquitous Web Communities and Services. Endnotes. Index. Description The Wired Tower: Perspectives on the Impact of the Internet on Higher Education brings together leading thinkers and doers to assess the new realities of the Internet in higher education. Edited by Blackboard, Inc. Chairman Matthew Pittinsky, the book identifies key drivers of technology-related change, five transformative Internet-based learning practices most likely to succeed and explores every facet of Internet-related change. The book also includes original contributions from Neil Postman (The End of Education) and Arthur Levine, President, Columbia University Teacher's College. Excerpt In April 2001, 350 educational leaders and academics gathered in Washington, DC, to discuss the Internet's impact on higher education. As a summit of sorts, speakers from academe, business, and government grappled with the fundamental nature of e-learning the adoption of and reliance on the Internet for teaching and learning. Organized around a theme of transformation versus evolution, speakers such as Columbia University Teacher's College President Arthur Levine, VerticalNet Chairman Mark Walsh, researcher and technology luminary Carol Twigg, author and New York University professor Neil Postman, and others presented compelling perspectives on the topic.This book draws on the talks given at the meeting, tackling this question: Is the impact of e-learning on higher education transformative or simply evolutionary? The genesis of The Wired Tower the post e-learning Ivory Tower lay in the desire to package the wonderfully diverse, yet interrelated perspectives that the various authors shared in their presentations. At a time of change, it attempts to elevate the microquestions of e-learning often tackled in classroom-based anecdotes, to a macrolevel of industry history, structure, and change. The topics are mostly distinct from international issues to Wall Street yet the arguments made are all critical to shaping a view of the Internet's impact on academe.Through my work as chairman of Blackboard Inc., I have long argued that the promise of the Internet is one that will likely sustain the traditional campus model, rather than transform it into something foreign or new. To be sure, over time small ideas, such as the delivery of courses to alumni online, may turn into big ideas such as a "warranty" on knowledge where tuition provides not only the initial period of degree study, but also an ongoing return via the Web to the campus for additional coursework throughout life. Indeed, if the dot-com world is truly a guide, near-term evolutionary changes, developed over time, will lead to a fundamentally transformed way of delivering and supporting the instructional process in higher education.As you move from chapter to chapter, the contributors to this book demonstrate firsthand that a compelling argument can be made on both sides of the debate. Despite its image as an enterprise slow to change, if you look back in history, higher education has indeed experienced periods of great change and flux, albeit few and far between. Over time, more facilities, more research, more specialization, more students, more remedial courses, bigger budgets, and different recruitment strategies have all changed the face of higher education; small changes at first, but dramatic ones by the end.Looking back at the 350 years since Harvard's founding, at least three momentous developments stand out: passage of the GI Bill, which brought unprecedented access to higher education; establishment of land-grant colleges, which provided a vast new network of research and development institutions that helped transform the American economy in the post-Civil War era; and the founding of Johns Hopkins University, which was to serve as a model for large science- oriented institutions. Most recently, the creation and explosion of community colleges in the post-World War II period, and the growth of affirmative action policies with the passage of the Higher Education Act of 1965, have also fostered dramatic change.The Perspectives in ContextTo help structure the compilation, I open the book with a short chapter developed to frame the debate and introduce several of the key themes that emerge... Author Bio Matthew Serbin Pittinsky MATTHEW SERBIN PITTINSKY is Chairman of Blackboard Inc. As Blackboard's founding CEO and chief education strategist, Pittinsky has been a visible and widely respected leader helping to shape the higher education e-learning industry. With more than 2,300 schools, colleges, and universities in 140 countries using its software, Blackboard is one of the largest technology companies connecting the power of the Internet to educationMr. Pittinsky has served on numerous panels and presented at industry conferences for organizations such as the Harvard Business School, the Software Publishers Association, and EDUCAUSE. A first time book editor, he has authored numerous articles and has been quoted in major media outlets, including The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and BusinessWeek.In 2001, Ernst & Young named Pittinsky and Blackboard co-founder Michael Chasen "Entrepreneurs of the Year for Emerging Companies" in Washington, D.C. In addition, they were both honored as "Young Innovators" by the Kilby Awards Foundation, a distinction shared by Vint Cerf, Marc Andreessen, and Linus Torvalds. Mr. Pittinsky earned his masters degree in education policy at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. He serves on the advisory boards of SMARTHINKING and Syllabus2000, and on the Board of Trustees of American University. and on the Board of Trustees of American University.
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