I read a nice post in the Harvard Business Review today about the ever growing problem of people having their eyes on their cell phones instead of the events going on around them…like driving or getting married!
This made me think: Does having all of the students in a class take notes really provide any value?
Are all those laptops, tablets, phones and notebooks hurting more than they’re helping?
In classrooms, I am never a good notetaker so perhaps this is just part of my skepticism. In the business world, we typically either assign a notetaker or just take pictures of whiteboards when we’re done, but in the education world, it was the complete opposite.
Are there any teachers out there who have experimented with this topic?
Does outlawing student note taking result in better engagement and higher information retention?
For many years now, the US News “America’s Best Colleges” rankings have compiled a single aggregate list of universities in the United States.
Many have written about the problem with the college ranking system, but none quite so well as Malcolm Gladwell in “The Order of Things”.
Can universities be ranked?
Any system of ranking is going to favor certain factors over others and the US News rankings are no exception. They are favorable to private, wealthy institutions and fail to take into account many of the factors which are more important to the majority of parents and students.
Gladwell points out that “at a time when American higher education is facing a crisis of accessibility and affordability, we have adopted a de-facto standard of college quality that is uninterested in both of those factors.” In other words, the US News rankings don’t favor quality schools that are affordable and easier to get admitted to.
Universities Keep Competing for Rankings
Despite the flaws in the US News ratings, universities around the country continue to invest in improving their spot.
Is the time, energy, and money spent worth it? Should universities continue to mass broadcast out applications with the intention of increasing selectivity? Should deans promising higher spots in the rankings be taken seriously?
Higher education should stop wasting time and effort on improving its US News rankings and instead focus on improving quality while reducing costs.
Every university should be providing a nice clean avenue for prospective students and parents to get the full admissions experience on mobile and tablet.
Mobile and Higher Education are taking off. Colleges and universities have updated their web properties to the point that schools without a great mobile experience are playing catchup. The early adopters have moved on to tablet and native for things like the viewbook.
There’s been some great discussion you should catch up on if you’ve missed it:
Leverage this new investment. Spend the time to make sure that everything a student would want to do in order to learn about applying is available. Most importantly, make sure they can apply. “Repeat after me: mobile users will do anything and everything desktop users will do…” — @brad_frost The end goal here is to convert mobile visitors into applicants.
Attract students you couldn’t before. It makes sense to start driving traffic to these new investments being made by higher ed. Couple the additional capabilities of a smartphone or tablet with the fact that people have their devices with them nearly all of the time and the opportunity to create strong ROI in this advertising market is apparent.
How can we get more qualified students visiting those nice responsive mobile & tablet admissions based web apps?
How can we increase the ROI on the marketing spend going to mobile and tablet?