- Rising dissatisfaction with performance of primary, secondary schools
- Increased experimentation with alternatives (charter schools, homeschooling, unschooling)
- Rising cost of higher education, escalating debt, low rates of post-graduation employment
- Burgeoning online educational content, including MOOCs
- Accelerating in development of micro-credentialing
- 1983: A Nation at Risk (National Commission on Excellence)
- 2002: No Child Left Behind
- 2011: HASTAC/MacArthur Digital Media & Learning Competition, supported by Mozilla, Gates funding for Badges for Lifelong Learning, supporting 30 development grants
Coursera reports first quarter profits, announces IPO. Coursera is one of the major providers of Massive Open Online Courses As soon as one of the big MOOC providers figures out a workable business model, the development of these platforms for delivering educational content, much of it of very high quality, will rapidly accelerate.
IBM releases applicant guidelines for digital badges. As soon as mainstream employers (and IBM is one of the biggest employers in the U.S.) start accepting alternate forms of credentialing, such as digital badges and other micro-credentials, the calculation regarding ROI of going into debt for a traditional college degree will look even less attractive.