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Revolution in Higher Education: How a Small Band of Innovators Will Make College Accessible and Affordable

Revolution in Higher Education: How a Small Band of Innovators Will Make College Accessible and Affordable

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Publication Date: March 3rd, 2017
The MIT Press
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A report from the front lines of higher education and technology that chronicles efforts to transform teaching, learning, and opportunity.

Colleges and universities have become increasingly costly, and, except for a handful of highly selective, elite institutions, unresponsive to twenty-first-century needs. But for the past few years, technology-fueled innovation has begun to transform higher education, introducing new ways to disseminate knowledge and better ways to learn—all at lower cost. In this impassioned account, Richard DeMillo tells the behind-the-scenes story of these pioneering efforts and offers a roadmap for transforming higher education. Building on his earlier book, Abelard to Apple, DeMillo argues that the current system of higher education is clearly unsustainable. Colleges and universities are in financial crisis. Tuition rises inexorably. Graduates of reputable schools often fail to learn basic skills, and many cannot find suitable jobs. Meanwhile, student-loan default rates have soared while the elite Ivy and near-Ivy schools seem remote and irrelevant.

Where are the revolutionaries who can save higher education? DeMillo's heroes are a small band of innovators who are bringing the revolution in technology to colleges and universities. DeMillo chronicles, among other things, the invention of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) by professors at Stanford and MIT; Salman Khan's Khan Academy; the use of technology by struggling historically black colleges and universities to make learning more accessible; and the latest research on learning and the brain. He describes the revolution's goals and the entrenched hierarchical system it aims to overthrow; and he reframes the nature of the contract between society and its universities. The new institutions of a transformed higher education promise to demonstrate not only that education has value but also that it has values—virtues for the common good.

About the Author

Richard A. DeMillo has held senior positions in academia, industry, and government. Currently Charlotte B. and Roger C. Warren Chair of Computing and the Director of the Center for 21st Century Universities at Georgia Tech, he is the author of Abelard to Apple: The Fate of American Colleges and Universities (MIT Press).

Praise for Revolution in Higher Education: How a Small Band of Innovators Will Make College Accessible and Affordable

Revolution in Higher Education would be a good book to start with for any campus contemplating going through a large strategic planning process. (And DeMillo is wonderfully incisive about the limitations of strategic planning). Both critics and fans of postsecondary disruption will be given plenty to react to in Revolution in Higher Education…. Your ideas and opinions will be better informed after reading this book.—Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Education

The author brings extensive experience and knowledgeable perspectives to the current problems with U.S. colleges and universities and institutions around the world that are mired in uncontrolled high costs, inappropriate traditional habits, and an unproductive focus on prestige and rankings…. DeMillo presents a well-informed account of the challenges and potential transformation in American higher education.

Library Journal