Introduction: The Story of Progress (and Education)
  1. Beginning of modern education in Europe. The University of Bologna was founded in 1088, the University of Paris (later associated with the Sorbonne) was founded in 1150, and the University of Oxford was founded in 1167.
  2. Beginning of modern education in America. Harvard University was founded in 1636, Yale University was founded in 1701, and Brown University was founded in 1764.
  3. Hot jobs that didn’t exist? This list was published in a posting on the employment site Glassdoor, and includes “futuristic” jobs like virtual assistant and Lyft driver. The full list is at https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/jobs-that-didnt-exist-15-years-ago/
  4. “Recent college grads are either unemployed or underemployed.” This is based on data shared in Todd Hixon’s 2014 Forbes article “Higher Education Is Now Ground Zero for Disruption.” Full article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/toddhixon/2014/01/06/higher-education-is-now-ground-zero-for-disruption/
  5. “Only a quarter of students find themselves working in their field.” This is based on data reported by Brad Plumer in the Washington Post. Full article at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/05/20/only-27-percent-of-college-grads-have-a-job-related-to-their-major/
  6. $30,100 of debt! The sad but true stat is taken from the Data Dashboard of Complete College America, a nonprofit that has been collecting nationwide data since 2010. Details at https://completecollege.org/data-dashboard/
  7. Tuition rising to $130,000 per year. These projections were noted in a 2018 Forbes article “How to Save For Rising Education Costs and Potentially Get a Tax Deduction.” Full article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinmerrick/2018/03/06/how-to-save-for-rising-education-costs-and-potentially-get-a-tax-deduction/
  8. Taking Ivy League out of the equation. Goldman Sachs makes a case against paying for an average higher education in this 2015 CNN article: https://money.cnn.com/2015/12/09/news/economy/college-not-worth-it-goldman/
  9. STEM Jobs. The U.S. Department of Commerce stated in their 2017 Job Update that STEM workers earn more on average. Read the report at http://www.esa.doc.gov/sites/default/files/stem-jobs-2017-update.pdf
  10. Higher education is $1.9 trillion out of the overall $4.4 trillion education market. The higher education market is discussed on Inside Higher Ed, a website all about the American college system, at https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/19-trillion-global-higher-ed-market and the overall size of the education market is reported in the Washington Post, at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2013/02/09/global-education-market-reaches-4-4-trillion-and-is-growing/
  11. $1.4 trillion in student debt. This frightening statistic, which places student debt as the second largest form of debt in the United States (second only to mortgages), is shared by Ryan Craig in his book A New U
  12. 6.8 million Americans are looking for work. In a 2017 article on CNN, a discrepancy was shown between the 6.8 million Americans out of jobs, and the fact America had more job openings than ever before. Full article at http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/06/news/economy/us-job-openings-6-million/index.html
  13. 15% completion rates for MOOC students. Massive Open Online Courses have the potential to provide education at large scale, yet as shown in data collected by Katy Jordan in 2015, completion percentages are very low. Read more at http://www.katyjordan.com/MOOCproject.html
Chapter One: Why Modern Education is Ineffective, Overpriced, and Ubiquitous
  1. 5% of males born in 1900 held degrees. This glance back at the history of higher ed is reported in chapter 4 of Paul Tough’s best-seller How Children Succeed.
  2. 40% of working American’s have college degrees. In an PBS Newshour article, reporters discuss how the greatest financial challenge for 18-49 year olds are facing is paying for that college degree. Read more at https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/percentage-americans-college-degrees-rises-paying-degrees-tops-financial-challenges
  3. Academic inflation. In a blog post by the University of Carlton, the concept of academic inflation explains why more and more people have degrees that aren’t sufficient for getting a job. Read the full article at https://carleton.ca/edc/2008/thinking-about-academic-inflation-2/
  4. Lectures are ineffective. An article by ScienceMag expresses that lectures aren’t just boring, they are also ineffective. Students in lecture format classes are 1.5 times more likely to fail than those in active learning environments. Full article at http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/05/lectures-arent-just-boring-theyre-ineffective-too-study-finds
  5. What employers want. A 2017 survey by Express Performance Professionals revealed traits that employers look for in their candidates. Having a degree is the least important factor on that list of considerations. Full data at https://www.expresspros.com/Newsroom/America-Employed/Survey-Results-What-Traits-do-Businesses-Look-for-in-New-Hires.aspx
  6. The majority of college grads have only “basic” levels of literacy. This is addressed in chapter 1 of Kevin Carey’s The End of College.
  7. “Failing to develop higher-order cognitive skills.” In their 2011 book Academically Adrift, Arum and Roksa discuss how college students are failing to develop the higher-order cognitive skills that they need to succeed.
  8. “Students fail to learn most of what they’re taught.” Bryan Caplan’s quote expressing that the materials universities are teaching have nothing to do with the labor market can be found in chapter 2 of his book The Case Against Education.
  9. In 2011, 50% of university grads under age 25 were unemployed or working in the service industry. This sad state of affairs is discussed in chapter 2 of Ryan Craig’s College Disrupted.
  10. In-house corporate learning centers. The prime example is General Electric University, these in-house institutions take it upon themselves to educate their employees. This is discussed in the 2013 Boston Consulting Group report Corporate Universities: An Engine for Human Capital. Read more at http://image-src.com/Images/Corporate_Universities_Jul_2013_tcm9-95435.pdf 
  11. Tuition growing at double the rate of inflation. Ryan Craig continues to flesh out the discrepancy between the cost and use of a degree in chapter 2 of College Disrupted.
  12. “991 hours just to cover tuition!” Also from College Disrupted by Ryan Craig.
  13. 7 in 10 students graduate with an average of $30,100 in debt. This is shown via 2017 statistics on the Complete College website. Learn more at https://complete-college.org/data-dashboard/
  14. Interest rates of 4.7% for undergraduate degrees, and 6.84% for graduate degrees. This is shown via 2017 stats on the Complete College Website at https://www.accesslex.org/xblog/2017-2018-interest-rates-announced
  15. Opportunity cost estimated at another $54,000. Also from College Disrupted by Ryan Craig.
  16. “Education is now priced as a luxury.” Klaus Schwab explains how a middle class job no longer guarantees a middle class lifestyle in The Fourth Industrial Revolution.
  17. Tuition rising to $130,000 per year. These projections were noted in a 2018 Forbes article titled “How to Save For Rising Education Costs and Potentially Get a Tax Deduction.” Full article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinmerrick/2018/03/06/how-to-save-for-rising-education-costs-and-potentially-get-a-tax-deduction/
  18. No productivity gains, tuition to rise in perpetuity. The 2014 Forbes article “Higher Education is Now Ground Zero for Disruption” quotes a previous President of Princeton University predicting that the cost of university will continue to rise. Full article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/toddhixon/2014/01/06/higher-education-is-now-ground-zero-for-disruption/#75e219ac1f89
  19. Only 20% of undergraduate student complete their degree in the set 4 years. This shocking 2017 statistic pulled from Complete College website. More details at https://completecollege.org/data-dashboard/
  20. Overall graduation for 4-year institutions hover around 55%. Graduation rate statistics brought to you by Ryan Craig in chapter 1 of his book College Disrupted.
  21. 31 million Americans have some college credits but no degree. This 2017 statistic was extracted from the Complete College website. More details at https://completecollege.org/data-dashboard/
  22. The majority of jobs come from small business. This was reported by Steve King in a 2009 S. News article citing American Census Bureau information. Full article at https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-small-business/2009/07/17/how-many-small-business-employees-are-out-there
  23. 75% of recruiters use ATS technology. This is reported by Capterra. Full data at https://www.capterra.com/recruiting-software/impact-of-recruiting-software-on-businesses
  24. “To question education is really dangerous.” Venture capitalist Peter Thiel comments in a interview for TechCrunch that it’s hard break the illusion of the benefit of higher education in the U.S. Full interview at https://techcrunch.com/2011/04/10/peter-thiel-were-in-a-bubble-and-its-not-the-internet-its-higher-education/
  25. Higher education enrollment declined more than 6.5% in the last 5 years. This statistic is shared in Adam Harris’ 2018 article in The Atlantic titled “Here’s How Education Dies.” Full article at https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/06/heres-how-higher-education-dies/561995/
  26. “Higher Education Is Now Ground Zero for Disruption.” In Todd Hix-on’s article for Forbes, he discusses the decline of higher education because there are too many things about the way they operate that don’t make sense. Full article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/toddhixon/2014/01/06/higher-education-is-now-ground-zero-for-disruption/
  27. Closures, mergers, and shifts in focus. In The Atlantic article “How Higher Education Dies,” Adam Harris notes that the recent focus on the adult learning industry makes for a growing market. Full article at https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/06/heres-how-higher-education-dies/561995/
  28. History of Worcestershire sauce. Courtesy of the BBC, with more details at http://bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/mcraSW4BRJyBTtOMbcb6Tw
  29. How to use Worcestershire sauce. For recipe ideas, visit https://www.thekitchn.com/5-ways-to-use-worcestershire-sauce-tips-from-the-kitchn-219380
Chapter Two: Education for the Age of Acceleration
  1. Shift Happens. The latest version of this video produced by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod in 2008 about the rapid change brought about by digital technology and globalization can be watched at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u06BXgWbGvA
  2. Education must deliver an outcome that is meaningful. This recounted by Kevin Carey in an interview with Paul Fain on Inside Higher Ed, about his book The End of College. Full interview at https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/03/23/kevin-carey-talks-about-his-new-book-end-college
  3. “Higher education has yet to adapt.” Joseph Aoun discusses this in his book Robot-Proof, describing the large gap between the existing education model and the changing economy.
  4. Self-driving cars. The mileage self-driving companies have driven is tracked at https://medium.com/self-driving-cars/miles-driven-677bda21b0f7
  5. Trends in self-driving. Automakers who are investing in the self-driving format are noted in this Digital Trends article, available at https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/history-of-self-driving-cars-milestones/
  6. 90% of traffic accidents are attributed to human error. This statistic was extracted from a 2015 article in the Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society. Full article at http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blog/2013/12/human-error-cause-vehicle-crashes
  7. 3.4 million American person-years in commute. Christopher Ingraham shares this statistic in his Washington Post article, calculating that the average amount of time wasted on a commute is 26 mins. Self-driving cars could redeploy this missed time more productively. Full article at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/25/how-much-of-your-life-youre-wasting-on-your-commute/
  8. Millions of people work in the transportation industry. In a report by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment by major sector is predicted for year 2026. Learn more at https://www.bls.gov/emp/tables/employment-by-major-industry-sector.htm
  9. Sensors for improving dairy herd management. Thomas Friedman discusses the future streams of sensor technology in chapter 3 of his best-seller Thank You For Being Late.
  10. $55 million supercomputers in 1996. Friedman notes the rapid development of computer technology in chapter 3 of Thank You for Being Late.
  11. $450 Radeon HD 3870 X2 graphics card. Gizmodo reported on the develop-ment of this ATI product in 2008. Full article at https://gizmodo.com/349588/ati-breaks-teraflop-barrier-with-radeon-hd-3870-x2-gpu
  12. AlphaGo beat Lee Sedol in 2016. In 2016 a computer program called AlphaGo beat the top ranked Go master at the game, as reported by Christof Koch for Scientific American online. Read more at https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-the-computer-beat-the-go-master/
  13. Libratus beat four top poker players in 2017. In 2017, the Libratus AI developed by Carnegie Mellon University, beat the top 3 ranking poker players in the world in a 20 day marathon competition, as reported on the Carnegie Mellon news blog at https://www.cmu.edu/news/stories/archives/2017/january/AI-beats-poker-pros.html
  14. $1 million per mile. This figure was shared by David Allen, AT&T’s Director of Internet of Things (IoT), on an ad that ran as part of the Masters of Scale podcast.
  15. Robots disrupting the labor market. Predictions about the disruption of the labor market are made by Martin Ford in the first chapter of his book Rise of the Robots.
  16. Jobs pulled in different directions. Thomas Friedman describes the four directions in which technology will pull jobs in chapter 8 of Thank You for Being Late.
  17. Reports predict massive job loss. In a 2013 research paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne titled The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerization?, they predict the automation of specific current jobs in the upcoming decades. Read the full paper at https://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf and in a 2015 quarterly report by McKinsey & Company titled Four Fundamentals of Work-place Automation, authors Michael Chui, James Manyika, and Mehdi Miremadi present statistics that demonstrate how 45% of current paying jobs could be automated by machines. Full report at https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/four-fundamentals-of-workplace-automation
  18. Concern about jobs at risk. In their 10,000 person survey, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) reported on their website that 37% of workers are concerned that automation will put their jobs at risk. Read more at https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/services/people-organisation/publications/workforce-of-the-future.html
  19. Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence. Joseph Aoun discusses this white house report in Robot-Proof, the original report being available online at https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/whitehouse_files/microsites/ostp/NSTC/preparing_for_the_future_of_ai.pdf
  20. The Budding Effect. John Thornhill explains how the invention of the lawnmower in the 1800s by Edwin Budding sparked the later development of professional sports (that partake on fields), as part of a review of Frank, Roehrig, and Pring’s book What To Do When Machines Do Everything. Read the review at https://www.ft.com/content/f4251416-2a76-11e7-bc4b-5528796fe35c
  21. Cynefin Framework. In chapter 3 of The End of Jobs, Taylor Pearson discusses the four domains of decision-making context, as aligned with Dave Snowden’s 1999 “sense-making device” research.
  22. The end of “bullshit jobs.” Historian Rutger Bregman’s 2017 book, Utopia for Realists, is an argument for a liberal future that drives humanity forward.
  23. Children aren’t being taught well. Andrew Keen, one of the earliest authors to write about the dangers of the Internet, notes that 30% of people in senior positions have “no confidence” that schools are training capable future workers in his 2018 book How to Fix the Future.
  24. Teaching Psychological Freedom. Venture capitalist Albert Wenger is home-schooling his kids, with the focus of teaching them skills that can’t be replicated by a robot. As noted by Keen in How to Fix the Future.
  25. 85% of job success comes from soft skills. This statistic is reported in The Soft Skills Disconnect by the National Soft Skills Association 2015. Full article at http://www.nationalsoftskills.org/the-soft-skills-disconnect/
  26. Hire for attitude. In a 2012 article by Forbes titled “Hire for Attitude,” Mark Murphy discusses the attitudinal deficits that lead to workers being fired within 18 months of being hired. Full article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2012/01/23/89-of-new-hires-fail-because-of-their-attitude
  27. Work attitude and self-management skills. Peter Cappelli, speaking about what employers are really looking for, is quoted by Ryan Craig in chapter 7 of College Disrupted.
  28. Business Roundtable of employers ranking the most important work skills. Ryan Craig explains in chapter 7 of College Disrupted how within a list of 20 skills an employer looks for in a new hire, skills taught in a traditional school setting are very low on the list.
  29. Critical thinking vs. degree. As noted in Minerva University’s book Building the Intentional University, 93% of employers are more interested in their potential hires’ critical thinking skills than the presence of a university degree.
  30. Work ethic tops the list. In a report posted by Express Employment in 2017, from a cohort of 1,030 employers, work ethic and attitude was rated as the most important trait for new hires. Full report at https://www.expresspros.com/Newsroom/America-Employed/Survey-Results-What-Traits-do-Businesses-Look-for-in-New-Hires.aspx
  31. More than 80% of respondents want leadership. Joseph Aoun in Robot-Proof references the Job Outlook 2016 report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which is available at http://www.naceweb.org/s11182015/employers-look-for-in-new-hires.aspx
Chapter Three: The Changing Landscape of Learning
  1. Non-synchronous education. The history and development of open and distance learning is discussed in a 2003 blog post for Athabasca University’s International Review of Open and Distributed Learning. Full article at http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/134/214
  2. Online dating. Today nearly 1 in 5 couples that get married met online. This is from a 2017 review of online dating statistics on Zoosk. Full article at https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/online-dating-advice/online-dating-statistics-dating-stats-2017/
  3. Online education advantages. Bryan Caplan discusses the financial and engagement advantages of online learning in chapter 7 of The Case Against Education.
  4. “As far east as we could go.” Maureen and Tony Wheeler discuss the development of their company Lonely Planet in episode #6 of Guy Raz’s “How I Built This” show on National Public Radio (NPR).
  5. Learning how to learn. Former Harvard University president Lawrence Summers is quoted by James Bradshaw in a 2018 Globe and Mail article, saying that everything we are learning will become obsolete in a decade. Full article at https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/why-university-students-need-a-well-rounded-education/article4610406/
  6. “Figure it out on a daily basis.” According to Jeff Cobb, founder of research and consulting firm Tagoras, we now live in a “figure it out on a daily basis” economy, as noted in chapter 1 of his book Leading the Learning Revolution.
  7. “Just-in-case” education. As Rohit Bhargava writes in his book Always Eat Left Handed, we either learn things at school because its traditional, or because one day we might need to know it.
  8. Learning can no longer be isolated to just undergraduate and graduate degrees. This is argued by Joseph Aoun in his book Robot-Proof.
  9. The other 50 years. Jeff Cobb explains that learning must be spread across our entire adult lives in chapter 1 of Leading a Learning Revolution.
  10. Open Loop Education. The Stanford 2025 project explores what the future of education might look like, featuring a heavy focus on lifelong learning. Read more at http://www.stanford2025.com/open-loop-university/
  11. Students over 50 are the fastest growing contributor to the student loan market. Stories of older age demographics going back to school for a mid-life career change are depicted in the 2018 New York Times article The Snake Oil of the Second-Act Industry. Full article at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/22/opinion/sunday/job-training-midlife-career-change.html
  12. 40% of students are 25 or older. In his book Robot-Proof, Joseph Aoun cites statistics from two pages from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES): Fast Facts: Back to School Statistics, available at https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372 and Table 303.40: Total fall enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by attendance status, sex, and age (selected years 1970 through 2025), available at https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d15/tables/d15_303.40.asp?current=yes
  13. Light-speed learning. In his book Non-Obvious, trend curator Rohit Bhargava discusses how much learning can be accomplished in “bite-sized” modules.
  14. “Last mile” education. Ryan Craig coins the term in his book A New U, to describe the training needed to bridge the gap between foundational education and a career.
  15. “Anything you learn will be obsolete within a decade.” Former Harvard University president Lawrence Summers is quoted by James Bradshaw in a 2018 Globe and Mail article, saying that everything we are learning will become obsolete in a decade. Full article at https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/why-university-students-need-a-well-rounded-education/article4610406/
  16. Experiential education. Dr. James Stellar discusses the concept and importance of experiential education in chapter 2 of his book Education That Works.
  17. No one is average. To learn more about Todd Rose’s research, read his excellent book The End of Average.
  18. Success of Udacity. Sebastian Thrun left Stanford to start his own MOOC, Udacity, which currently has 1.6 billion users. Read more at https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/how-artificial-intelligence-can-change-higher-education-136983766/
  19. Only 7% of students actually make it to the end of a MOOC. This point is made by Max Chafkin in his Fast Company article, discussing the ins and outs of Udacity. Full article at https://www.fastcompany.com/3021473/udacity-sebastian-thrun-uphill-climb
  20. MOOC completion rates max out at 15%. This data is shared in Katy Jordan’s 2015 graph plotting the percentage completed versus enrolled in a MOOCs. More data at http://www.katyjordan.com/MOOCproject.html
  21. University of Phoenix course completion rates. Even mediocre for-profit universities have a 17% completion rate for online courses, demonstrating that there are some major flaws with the MOOC model. This point is made by Max Chafkin in his Fast Company article, at https://www.fastcompany.com/3021473/udacity-sebastian-thrun-uphill-climb
  22. 6 years over a lifetime. This is presented in the Stanford 2025 project on the future of education, discussing open-loop education as a shift towards a longer, but far more incremental structure. Learn more at http://www.stanford2025.com/open-loop-university/
  23. Attention Span of a Goldfish? In an article posted on Ceros in 2015, bloggers trace the internet trail leading to origin of the “humans have a shorter attention span than goldfish”. Full article at https://www.ceros.com/originals/no-dont-attention-span-goldfish
  24. altMBA’s high completion rates. Best practice in course design are drawn from Seth Godin’s altMBA program by writer Stephanie Habif. Read more at https://medium.com/behavior-design/how-to-design-an-online-course-with-a-96-completion-rate-180678117a85
Chapter Four: Economics of the New Education
  1. At least 80% of incumbents defeated their challengers. This statistic was extracted from a 2011 government analysis of state and federal offices. Read more at http://economics.mit.edu/files/1205
  2. The turkey. This story is drawn from Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s 2008 book The Black Swan.
  3. Higher education is more than 40% of the overall $4.4 trillion education market. The higher education market is discussed on Inside Higher Ed, a website all about the American college system, at https://www.insidehigh-ered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/19-trillion-global-higher-ed-market and the overall size of the education market is reported in the Washington Post, at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2013/02/09/global-education-market-reaches-4-4-trillion-and-is-growing/
  4. 2.4 million fewer students enrolled than five years ago. Ryan Craig reports decreasing enrollment numbers in American higher education institutions in the second chapter of his book A New U.
  5. “Success is correlated with a professor’s ability to avoid teaching.” This quote is taken about incentives directing professors to research rather than teaching comes from chapter 1 of Ryan Craig’s A New U.
  6. The accreditation industry. Reporting on the state of the industry that accredits higher education institutions can be found at https://thebestschools.org/degrees/accreditation-colleges-universities/
  7. “A way for the merchant elite to distinguish their sons in society.” This reminder of the elitist history of higher education comes from chapter 10 of Ryan Craig’s A New U.
  8. Only 21 cents of every tuition dollar are actually spent on instruction! Ryan Craig reports this astounding fact in chapter 1 of his book A New U.
  9. The consolidation of major accounting firms to the “big four.” To be fair, they actually consolidated down to five, and then Arthur Andersen went out of business after the Enron scandal.
  10. Median American net worth of $44,900. This statistic (very different from the average American net worth of $301,000) is reported by Tami Luhby in her 2014 article for CNN Money, which can be read at https://money.cnn.com/2014/06/11/news/economy/middle-class-wealth/index.html
  11. A third of all course credits are in only 30 courses. Kevin Carey discusses the limited selection of course credits at higher education institutions in chapter 7 of The End of College.
  12. Endowments ranging from $22 billion to $38 billion. Harvard has $38 billion, Yale has $26 billion, University of Texas System has $23 billion, and Princeton and Stanford each have $22 billion, as reported by the United States Department of Education at https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=73
  13. More than the GDP of Morocco or Ukraine. GDPs are per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as reported on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)
  14. Staffing is a $428 billion industry. In a report by Statista, the global staffing industry revenue amounted to 428 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. Read more at https://www.statista.com/topics/4412/professional-staffing-in-the-us/
  15. Venture capital funds. A prime example is Ryan Craig’s University Ventures fund, dedicated to investing in startups working on opportunities in the education space.
Chapter Five: Learning from the Experts
  1. 189 channels. In 2014 article posted on NewsWire, the Advertising & Audiences Report notes that average U.S. TV home only watches 17 channels despite having a record amount of options. Full statistics at http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/changing-channels-americans-view-just-17-channels-despite-record-number-to-choose-from.html
  2. The pace of book production. According to the website Stuff Nobody Cares About (which is a misnomer, since I find this fascinating), there are on average 3 million books published each year. This is a stark contrast from the 9,260 books published in 1907. Full data at http://stuffnobodycaresabout.com/2012/01/31/how-many-books-were-published-100-years-ago-as-compared-to-today/
  3. 130 million books in existence. As Ben Parr wrote on Mashable, Google algorithms report there are 129,864,880 published in all of modern history. Full article at https://mashable.com/2010/08/05/number-of-books-in-the-world/
  4. 15,000 books about Lincoln. According to a 2015 Business Insider article, there are no less than 15,000 books that have been written about Abraham Lincoln in the past two centuries. Full article at http://www.businessinsider.com/best-books-on-abraham-lincoln-2015-2
  5. “Long Tail.” Chris Anderson described in his 2004 article in Wired magazine titled “The Long Tail” a simple concept with powerful implications. Full article at http://www.longtail.com/about.html
  6. Only 21 cents of every tuition dollar are actually spent on instruction! Ryan Craig reports this astounding fact in chapter 1 of his book A New U.
  7. The effect of unbundling on revenue per student. The consequences of the unbundling of courses from each other is discussed by Ryan Craig in chapter 6 of College Disrupted.
Chapter Six: Knowledge: Making it Easy for People to Learn
  1. Spanish in a Month. You can watch Connor Grooms’ documentary for free at com
  2. Learning Spanish in a month? Jared Kleinert’s 2015 Forbes article highlights Connor Grooms, a blogger who has taken on learning different skills in a month such as DJ’ing and Spanish. Full article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaredkleinert/2015/11/30/this-20-year-old-teaches-us-how-to-learn-anything-in-a-month/
  3. Portuguese in a Week. You can watch this documentary for free as well, at PortugueseDocumentary.com
  4. Declarative and Procedural Memory. Learning mechanisms that enable us to carry out our day-to-day lives are discussed in chapter 11 of Building the Intentional University.
  5. Sherlock’s Brain Attic. Richard B. Hoppe writes in a New York Times letter to the editor that Sherlock Holmes would not have been surprised to hear that the brain has limited memory capacity. Full letter at https://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/03/science/l-sherlock-s-brain-attic-886041.html
  6. Gaps in our memory. As Benedict Carey explains in chapter 2 of How We Learn, our brain prunes excess information so that it can retain the necessary amount of information in its limited space.
  7. Scaffolding success. The success of scaffolding is demonstrated through the example of impressively productive learning interventions for children below average reading level, as documented in chapter 4 of J. T. Bruer’s Schools for Thought.
  8. The Cone of Experience. Edgar Dale’s concept of a hierarchy of experiences and their effectiveness for learning, as recorded on Wikipedia. Full entry at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Dale
  9. Associative learning. Benedict Carey exemplifies different situations in which people are able to better recall and remember material when there is an associative trigger present in chapter 3 of How We Learn.
  10. Far transfer. Howard Gardner, the famous developmental psychologist, discusses the ability to apply information to a new context in his book The Disciplined Mind.
  11. Application in wide range of circumstances. The importance of helping students apply learning across different circumstances is discussed in chapter 3 of Building the Intentional University.
  12. “Students rarely exhibit far transfer.” Aoun discusses the skill of far transfer in Robot-Proof, and highlights how many studies show that students rarely exhibit this skill, citing Ambrose, Bridges, DiPietro Lovett, Norman, and Mayer’s book How Learning Works.
  13. Scaffolding in the Minerva curriculum. Scaffolding is a large part of the structure of the curriculum of the Minerva Schools at KGI is outlined in chapter 3 of Building the Intentional University.
  14. Memory Palace. The process of creating a visual mnemonic for learning complex facts and ideas. More details at https://artofmemory.com/wiki/How_to_Build_a_Memory_Palace
  15. Repetition and the “Forgetting Curve.” Benedict Carey discusses the power of repetition to encode memory in chapter 4 of How We Learn.
  16. Deliberate Practice. This process of practicing the hard parts is based on the research of K. Anders Ericsson and documented in his book Peak, with co-author Robert Pool. The ideas are expanded upon in many books, including The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle, Deep Work by Cal Newport, and others.
  17. Illusion of fluency. Carey explains how there is a discrepancy between really knowing the learning material or just recognizing it to the point of fluency in chapter 5 of How We Learn.
  18. Passive haptic learning. The process of providing physical stimuli and feedback to facilitate and accelerate learning is demonstrated in this fascinating YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZYAoOYFv1o
  19. Spaced repetition. A learning technique that incorporates increasing intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned material in order to exploit the psychological spacing effect. Read more about this at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaced_repetition
Chapter Seven: Insight: Where Critical Thinking Meets Creativity
  1. Dillon Hill and Gamers Gift. This story was recounted in the “how you built that” segment of episode #38 of Guy Raz’s “How I Built This” show on National Public Radio (NPR).
  2. “Information is abundant; it’s common.” This bold statement is made by George Couros in chapter 2 of his book The Innovator’s Mindset.
  3. Cost of robotics. Dmitry Slepov writes in his 2016 TechCrunch article about the high price of robots limiting their use in physical labor markets. Full article at https://techcrunch.com/2016/03/27/the-real-cost-of-robotics/
  4. Legal researchers being replaced by artificial intelligence. John Markoff, writing for the New York Times in 2011, discusses how computer software and AI intelligence is making its way into tasks that were once exclusive to humans with decision-making skills. Full article at https://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/05/science/05legal.html
  5. Hollowing out. Economist Paul Krugman, writing for the New York Times in 2011, explains that middle class medium-wage jobs have decreased while the two extremes have grown rapidly. Full article at https://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/07/opinion/07krugman.html
  6. Bad news for lawyers. Richard Susskind explains in The End of Lawyers? that lawyers bill and work at high rates, but their work involves tasks of low expertise.
  7. Twice as many law school graduates as estimated job openings. To be precise, that’s 46,565 graduates vying for only 21,650 job openings. These statistics are shared by Joshua Wright in his 2014 Forbes article, at https://www.forbes.com/sites/emsi/2014/01/10/the-job-market-for-lawyers-side-work-on-the-rise-amid-continuing-glut-of-new-grads/
  8. Declining law school enrollment rates. Writing for Above the Law, Staci Zaretsky writes about a rapid decline in applications to law school. Full article at https://abovethelaw.com/2013/08/law-school-applications-continue-to-tumble/
  9. “Canary in the higher education coal mine.” This quote about the legal profession comes from Ryan Craig, in chapter 2 of his book College Disrupted.
  10. Robot-proof education. This segment is an encapsulation of the overall thesis of Joseph Aoun’s Robot-Proof.
  11. The decision making antics of Alfred Sloan. This story is recounted by Chip and Dan Heath in chapter 5 of Decisive.
  12. “When two men always agree, one of them is unnecessary.” William Wrigley Jr.’s famous quote was uncovered by Quote Investigator. Full article at https://quoteinvestigator.com/2015/04/04/agree/
  13. “Tell me something that’s true that nobody agrees with.” Writing for Forbes in 2014, Robert Hof shares this advice from venture capitalist Peter Thiel to entrepreneurs. Full article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthof/2014/02/27/peter-thiels-advice-to-entrepreneurs-tell-me-something-thats-true-but-nobody-agrees-with/
  14. “Our brains are challenged by novelty.” This quote comes from chapter 1 of Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg’s Creativity.
  15. The “mere exposure” effect. This social psychology phenomenon is described in a 2008 article on Psychology Today, available at https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/ulterior-motives/200811/know-me-is-me-i-mere-exposure
  16. The cost of breaking a record. The surprising financial effort that it takes to get a record on the radio is described on music blog Making It Mag, at https://www.makinitmag.com/blog/music-101/how-much-does-it-really-cost-break-new-record-answer-might-shock-you
  17. Musicians working with Zumba. Zumba co-founders Alberto “Beto” Perez and Alberto Perlman discuss musicians wanting to use Zumba to promote their music in episode #41 of Guy Raz’s “How I Built This” show on National Public Radio (NPR).
  18. Critical thinking valued more than a university degree. The statistic that 93% of employers value critical thinking skills over an undergraduate degree comes from chapter 3 of Building the Intentional University.
  19. Definition of Critical Thinking. This comes from CriticalThink-ing.org. Full definition at http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/our-conception-of-critical-thinking/411
  20. Academically adrift. Aoun reports in Robot-Proof on research by Richard Arum and Josipa Roska that students are failing to acquire higher order thinking skills at university, documented in their 2011 book Academically Adrift.
  21. “Harvard is telling MBA students what to think.” Duff McDonald argues that the case study method, often practiced in business schools, fails to foster any higher order cognitive skills in chapter 5 of The Golden Passport.
  22. “Most business schools are adept at teaching respondent behavior.” Also from Duff McDonald’s The Golden Passport.
  23. The Minerva curriculum. The work being done at the Minerva Schools at KGI are documented in detail in the book Building the Intentional University.
  24. Steve Jobs’ famous commencement speech to the Stanford graduating class of 2005 is immortalized on the TED website at https://www.ted.com/talks/steve_jobs_how_to_live_before_you_die
  25. Creativity comes in many shapes and sizes. The multiple forms creativity can take are noted in chapter 1 of John Spencer and A.J. Juliani’s book Launch.
  26. Ingredients of the creative process. Elkhonon Goldberg discusses the varying constructs that collaborate with and foster creativity in his book Creativity.
  27. “It’s uncomfortable to focus so intently on what you’re bad at.” It is imperative to practice the parts of skills that you find most challenging, but also very difficult. Paul Tough explores this in chapter 3 of How Children Succeed.
  28. “Creativity is not mysterious.” Keith Sawyer explains in his book Zig Zag that creative people lean on routine in their day to day to foster creative behavior and output.
  29. The creative process. Keith Sawyer breaks down the actions one can take to foster creativity, by identifying eight stages of the creative process in Zig Zag.
  30. Importance of incubation. Graham Wallas’ 1926 research on the importance of incubation is documented by Benedict Carey in How We Learn.
Chapter Eight: Fortitude: How the Tough Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough
  1. College drop-out rates. Data reporting first-year drop-out rates in the United States were collected in 2014 by the National Student Clearing-house Research Centre. Learn more at https://nscresearchcenter.org/snapshotreport-persistenceretention22/
  2. MOOC completion rates. In a 2015 report, Katy Jordan shares data representing completions rates of Massive Open Online Courses that shows that roughly 15% of students complete these offerings. Full report at http://www.katyjordan.com/MOOCproject.html
  3. High online course drop-out rates. Online courses have drop-out rates in the high 80th percentile. Details at https://novoed.com/blog/1050/a-strategy-for-increasing-completion-rates/
  4. Winners also quit. In a 2008 New York Times article, Seth Godin, author of The Dip, points out that winners quit the right things. Full article at https://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/16/business/16shortcuts.html
  5. 3 Ps of Pessimism. Positive Psychologist Martin Seligman’s 3 Ps of Pessimism are outlined by the Positive Psychology Program on their website at https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/explanatory-styles-optimism/
  6. Solving malnutrition in Vietnam. The amazing story of finding community leaders that can demonstrate what works rather than trying to solve for what doesn’t is recounted by Pascale, Sternin & Sternin in The Power of Positive Deviance.
  7. Finding the Bright Spots. Dan Heath, co-author of Switch, describes in an interview on Fast Company how to find “bright spots” by identifying leaders in their environment and cloning their processes. Full article at https://www.fastcompany.com/1634997/dan-heath-how-find-bright-spots
  8. Deliberate Practice. Anders Ericsson explains the concept of deliberate practice in his book Peak. Deliberate practice can be seen as pushing yourself, or stepping out of your comfort zone in a learning context.
  9. 5% to 3% of the population is gifted. This is a statistical extrapolation of the definition of gifted being two standard deviations above the norm, explained by Anya Kamenetz in her 2015 NPR article about identifying and fostering gifted students in K-12 learning experiences. Full article at https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/09/28/443193523/who-are-the-gifted-and-talented-and-what-do-they-need
  10. 5% of high-school dropouts are gifted. This statistic comes from Esra Kaskaloglu’s 2003 paper Gifted Students Who Drop Out: Who and Why: A Meta-Analytical Review of the Literature, presented in Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on Education.
  11. Online course retention rates. These figures are discussed by Papia Bawa in a 2016 academic article in Sage Journals, which can be found at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2158244015621777
  12. “Grades reflect life skills.” In this Literature Review featuring research from the University of Chicago, grades reflect a variation of students work habits and behaviors, but also how they feel about themselves: https://files.eric.ed.gov/full-text/ED542543.pdf
  13. “More than smarts are required for success.” This from Schools, Skills, and Synapses by economist James J. Heckman, who explains that having fortitude plays a big factor in being successful. Details at http://jenni.uchicago.edu/papers/Heckman_2008_EI_v46_n3.pdf
  14. High adversity with high support. That children who experience both adversity and support also develop fortitude is discussed by Sherry and Rob Walling in The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Keeping Your Sh*t Together.
  15. Only 4 NBA players under 5’10” since 2010. Earl Boykins is 5’5,” and Nate Robinson, Isaiah Thomas, and Kay Felder are all 5’9.” Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_shortest_players_in_National_Basketball_Association_history
  16. 4 non-cognitive factors and 4 key mindsets. Described in chapter 9 of Whitman and Kelleher’s Neuroteach.
  17. Nobody is gritty about everything. Caroline Adams Miller explains in Getting Grit that we can only be gritty about things that we care about.
  18. Intrinsically motivated people try harder and longer. Angela Duckworth, leading grit psychologist, discusses how intrinsic interest fosters perseverance in chapter 5 of Grit.
  19. Intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation. This tradeoff and debate is discussed in a 2004 academic essay published by School Psychology Review. Full essay at https://www.misd.net/mtss/consequences/extrinsic_rewards.pdf
  20. Three elements of mindfulness. Psychologists Shauna Shapiro, Linda Carlson, John Astin, and Benedict Freedman discuss their three mechanisms of mindfulness in a research article printed in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in 2006. Full article at http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
  21. WOOP Process. Gabriele Oettingen develops a unique method to help achieve your goals in Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation https://www.amazon.com/Rethinking-Positive-Thinking-Science-Motivation-ebook/dp/B00INIXT4
Chapter Nine: Designing Great Courses
  1. Einstein was a good student. According to this photograph of Einstein’s report card from 1879, he got good grades. Full article at https://gizmodo.com/5884050/einstein-actually-had-excellent-grades
  2. Einstein’s supportive mother. Einstein’s mother’s supportive parenting skills had a great effect on his learning, as documented at https://www.theodysseyonline.com/strive-albert-einsteins-mother
  3. Designing the perfect shopping cart. In a 1999 episode of ABC Nightline, design firm IDEO reinvents the classic shopping cart. Full video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M66ZU2PCIcM
  4. Building a better cubicle. In a 2002 feature on CBS, the design firm IDEO is challenged to build a better cubicle. Watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuzMTw37psg
  5. LAUNCH. The acronym explaining “design thinking” is from chapter 3 of Empower by Spencer and Juliani.
  6. Salvator Mundi sold for $450 million. The sale of Da Vinci’s painting of Jesus Christ for a record $450 million is documented at https://metro.co.uk/2017/11/16/leonardo-da-vinci-portrait-of-jesus-christ-salvator-mundi-sells-for-450000000-7083091/
  7. Michelangelo was a millionaire. In a 2002 article by the Telegraph, a study by Italy’s National Institute of Renaissance Studies discusses their findings that Michelangelo denied himself of all comfort despite being a multi-millionaire in the 1500s. Full article at https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/1414836/Michelangelo-is-branded-a-multi-millionaire-miser.html
  8. The “Beta Mentality.” This concept is described by Jeff Cobb in chapter 9 of Leading the Learning Revolution.
  9. Every teacher needs real feedback. Bill Gates makes a strong case for investing in teacher feedback in his 2013 TED talk, which can be watched at https://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates_teachers_need_real_feedback
  10. Rider, elephant, path. This metaphor was developed by Jonathan Haidt in his book The Happiness Hypothesis, and was later popularized by Chip and Dan Heath in Switch.
  11. The Hierarchy of User Friction. This framework is presented by Sachin Rekhi, CEO of Notejoy, in his article at https://medium.com/@sachinrekhi/the-hierarchy-of-user-friction-e99113b77d78
  12. Losing $1.6 billion per second. In an article posted on Fast Company in 2012, Amazon predicted that they would lose $1.6 billion in sales should their site operate even one second slower. Full article at https://www.fastcompany.com/1825005/how-one-second-could-cost-amazon-16-billion-sales
  13. Reducing interaction friction. Also from Sachin Rekhi’s “Hierar-chy of User Friction” article at https://medium.com/@sachinrekhi/the-hierarchy-of-user-friction-e99113b77d78
  14. Backward-Integrated Design. This approach to course design is highlighted by Chip and Dan Heath in their 2017 book The Power of Moments.
Chapter Ten: The Six Layers of Leveraged Learning
  1. Working backwards to design courses. This process is laid out by Vai and Sosulski in chapter 9 of Essentials of Online Course Design.
  2. Gym memberships. A 2016 USA Today article reports that 67% of gym memberships are never put to use. Full article at https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2016/04/27/your-gym-membership-good-investment/82758866/
  3. Teaching strategies. Whitman and Kelleher propose in Neuroteach the top 12 research-based strategies that teachers should be implementing in their classrooms.
  4. Behavioral pre-loading. Peter Gollwitzer’s research is described by Chip and Dan Heath in The Power of Moments.
  5. Narrative about economics. A great source for learning about the basics of economics is Ben Mathew’s book Economics: The Remarkable Story of How the Economy Works.
  6. YouTube video about economics. Ray Dalio presents a 30-minute video on the principles of economics. Full video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHe0bXAIuk0
  7. Economics games. A 2012 Forbes article highlights education-based economics games that can teach children about world markets and exchange rates. Full article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/moneywisewomen/2012/05/01/how-online-gaming-can-teach-kids-about-the-economy/
  8. Seven stages of consumption and knowledge integration. From Spencer and Juliani’s book Empower.
  9. Learning is not a spectator sport. Vai and Sosulski discuss how students need to take an active part in their learning in chapter 5 of Essentials of Online Course Design.
  10. Activities for students to practice. From Vai and Sosulski, in chapter 6 of Essentials of Online Course Design.
  11. Meta-analysis of student achievement. The analysis leading to the realization of the importance of formative assessment is documented in John Hattie’s book Visible Learning.
  12. Majority of internet traffic is mobile. Statista, the Statistics Portal, presents 2018 data that mobile internet traffic is more common than computer traffic. Details at https://www.statista.com/statistics/277125/share-of-website-traffic-coming-from-mobile-devices/
  13. Intentional vs. interstitial content. In a 2018 article in The Atlantic, Daniel Pink describes two different types of content: intentional, and interstitial. Full article at https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/06/the-future-of-television-is-being-able-to-pick-shows-by-length/562547/
  14. Forced minimum progression in altMBA. Stephanie Habif’s article discusses how to design a course with high completion rates. Seth Godin’s altMBA is a great example of these practices. Full article on https://medium.com/behavior-design/how-to-design-an-online-course-with-a-96-completion-rate-180678117a85
  15. Bloom’s 2 Sigma Problem. See Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom%27s_2_Sigma_Problem
  16. Technology and ingenuity are converging. Ryan Craig discusses the combination of adaptive learning with competency-based learning in online course design in chapter 5 of College Disrupted.
  17. Peer grading and feedback. In her 2012 TED Talk, Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller describes how effectively administered peer grading structures can work and scale. https://www.ted.com/talks/daphne_koller_what_we_re_learning_from_online_education
Afterword: Where Do We All Go from Here?
  1. Opportunity cost of school. Ryan Craig reports in chapter 2 of College Disrupted that the time invested in college equates to an opportunity cost of roughly $54,000.
  2. 4 Cs: Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity. These 21st century skills are highlighted in chapter 4 of Wojcicki and Izumi’s Moonshots in Education.
  3. The Turing School of Software & Design. In episode 31 of Nat Eliason’s “Nat Chat” podcast, Turing alumnus Bekah Lundy describes her experience. Full episode at https://www.nateliason.com/bekah-lundy/
  4. Weak correlation between university success and job performance. This data is shared by Ryan Craig in chapter 3 of A New U.
  5. “G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring.” As reported in a 2013 New York Times article, which can be read at https://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/business/in-head-hunting-big-data-may-not-be-such-a-big-deal.html
  6. 14% of employees on some Google teams never attended college. As reported by Ryan Craig in chapter 3 of A New U.
  7. Increased diversity at Ernst & Young. The impact of alternative, skill-based hiring processes on diversity are highlighted by Ryan Craig in chapter 3 of A New U.
  8. Changing your perspective can extend your life. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal discusses the surprising effects of a new perspective on stress in her 2013 TED Talk. Watch the video at https://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend
  9. Sense organs can be augmented or even replaced. Neuroscientist David Eagleman dissects human senses; Daniel Kish, who went blind at 13 months of age, explains to his viewers how he uses echolocation to see; and Dr. Sheila Nirenberg discusses prosthetic sensory devices; watch the videos at https://www.ted.com/talks/david_eagleman_can_we_create_new_senses_for_humans, https://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_kish_how_i_use_sonar_to_navigate_the_world, and https://www.ted.com/talks/sheila_nirenberg_a_prosthetic_eye_to_treat_blindness
  10. Great leaders inspire action. Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, discusses how leadership can inspire cooperation in his 2009 TED Talk. Watch the video at https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action