Starting a new decade presents an opportunity to look at our past, while sharing options for the future as it relates to continuing education. We have seen the explosion of online and distance learning, executive training and others that confirm how learning is changing. Unsurprisingly, we are becoming over-crowded in the information age with volumes and countless sources of information.
Yet, why does the cost of learning continue to rise? A basic knowledge of economics suggests that the more quantities available, the lesser the price for it. For example, you can buy a dvd player now for about $100, when at one point it costs much more. Actually, the point is not costs, but that a new commodity is emerging.
Now, the new commodity is Time. In fact, it is how we will ‘take our time’ that will define our continuing education. As some have suggested, this decade will be defined not by ‘what we learn’ or ‘how to learn,’ but ‘how to find the right information when we need it.’ For these reasons, the role of students and learners must adjust.
I wonder: What if we could become ‘investors of information?’ This would mean negotiating costs for courses, instead of paying flat-tuition rates; making educators accountable by providing us a ‘prospectus’ of the information, support, and potential results from their programs. My guess, such a change would awaken the pricing of schooling based on the needs of students, not on the needs of salaries. Then, the best instructors will be paid according to their talents and services, and not by seniority or tenure alone.
So, in our state of abundant information and continuing education, we have a chance to take the time to explore our options and opportunities…CARPE DIEM & LEARNLONG!