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How To Reboot Education

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Our traditional educational systems are broken and need to be rebooted into this century. At a recent  Reboot Stories, I conducted another no-holds-barred interview in front of a live audience at the ÄKTA Innovation Series, with Daniel Hamburger, President, CEO and Director at DeVry Education Group.  When I was on the Advisory Board of Keller Graduate School, and the founders – Dennis & Ron, decided to acquire DeVry, I never imagined I'd be interviewing their CEO, after transforming it into a $2 billion NYSE listed for-profit education brand that employs 15,000 people, at 8 colleges with 80 campuses and 100,000 degree-seeking students.

With politicians publically criticizing for-profit institutions and many students questioning the value and costs of college, schools like DeVry have been forced to reboot themselves not just to survive, but to create more useful curriculum that is immediately relevant in the workforce, and in-sync with what employers need now.

See how Daniel has been doing just that, watch the video here:

Based on our talk, I think some areas to design/deliver next-gen higher ed are:

Experiential Learning
Look for an experiential learning explosion. I like experiential programs that substitute templates, tools and answers with tough challenges that allow students to rise up and solve problems that companies face today. I teach Corporate Innovation and New Ventures at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, which is part of Kellogg's very popular Innovation and Entrepreneurial initiative. Every week we take our MBA students out of their comfortable classrooms, and journey into the real world realities of growing a global business, working directly with the top officers of Fortune 500's, startups, incubators and accelerators.

Partnered Learning
Major corporations need help educating their workforces, at all phases of their lifecycles—from basic training to helping them create a strategic competitive advantage with their people. In medical education DeVry is working with Walgreen’s, as they transform from a retailer to a healthcare provider, with in-store clinics, etc.  By partnering up to better educate Walgreen’s staff and help ramp up their facilities, DeVry is also benefiting as they use this platform to transition from a university to a workforce solutions provider in that sector.

Entrepreneurial Learning
Many college and universities are jumping on the entrepreneurial band wagon and offering courses on how to be an entrepreneur. For many schools this needs to evolve from studying Silicon Valley icon’s, like an anthropology class, to actually enabling students to experiment—maybe even experience entrepreneurial failure. Incubators and accelerators around the world are stepping up to this challenge, and delivering alternative education to people who want to learn everything from how start a company to learning code.

As a founding board member of 1871, one of the largest incubators in the world, I was happy when DeVry committed to supporting and opening our EdTech initiative. DVX – DeVry Experimental is an EdTech incubator to support entrepreneurs and startups developing innovative teaching and learning technologies and products. In addition to new products and services coming out of this venture, it has created an alternative learning environment, where students can come and experiment.

Chunky Learning
I am a life-long learner, so chunky learning is old news to me. But for many, and in many professions, chunky learning is becoming more important than a degree. Getting badges, certifications and tailored just-in-time chunks of training along your journey, whether you're in high school, college or retired, will continue to grow in relevance.  Some schools that teach design thinking or  business model canvas, are beginning to turn those tools on themselves to reboot their business models and shift how they deliver value in the age of chunky learning.

UX Enabled Learning
At AKTA, now a Salesforce company, we deliver user-experience designed on screen environments that enable people at work, at home, at play…and at school. Technology is advancing learning methodologies, from data analytics that help teachers help students to gamification platforms. DeVry uses patient simulation games—they even have a Donkey Simulator for veterinarian training! We are still in the early days of EdTech experimentation, there will be much trial and error, but hybrid leaning models will evolve that are more situational and targeted at audiences and learning preferences. My hope is that EdTech investments will continue accelerating and newly minted entrepreneurs will create amazing tools to advance the potential of diverse societies around the world.

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