At the end of each year, I enjoy reviewing the interest garnered by different Etale articles and topics. In 2015, I published almost 200 new articles on topics ranging from educational policy to educational philosophy, blended learning to self-directed learning, reviews of education companies to education startups, analyzing the impact of new innovations to the impact of changing education policies and regulations.
While there are some of the articles that gain the most visitors come from years ago, the one written in 2015 led to a record number of visitors. This year exceeded 100,000 visitors and hundreds of new subscribers. These subscribers come from higher education, k-12 education, think tanks, policymakers, CEO of education startups and established companies, consultants, designers, and a growing number of entrepreneurial-minded parents. With such a diverse group of visitors, it is no surprise that the top 10 articles published in 2015 covered a wide range of topics.
#10 – Why the Higher Learning Commission Has the Wrong Measure for “Qualified Faculty” – Coming in at the 10th most popular Etale article published in 2015 is one about educational policy, something that garnered more of my attention in this last year than ever before. Prescribed pathways to being a qualified professor clashes with a tidal wave of innovation and developments around multiple pathways to expertise recognized by most today. Yet, the regulatory agencies still seem to be caught up in establishing measures and regulations tied to past decades. For the most promising developments in education to expand, I’ve come to recognize that I can no longer focus on design as the sole pathway to the best future of education. I also need to invest in policy reform and innovation.
#9 – Excessive Teaching Stifles the Love of Learning – Also gaining traction in 2015 was the topic of self-directed learning. We have the growth of online content and communities, the expanding awareness of open courses and open education resources, and the collective awakening of the nature of life in a connected world. These create a perfect storm for self-directed learning, a theme that will gain even more traction in the upcoming years.
#8 – Notes and Quotes from Jeff Sandefer’s The Learning Driven Revolution – On a related theme, there is also growing awareness about new and distinct types of schools, those that celebrate curiosity, a love of learning, agency, and student voice. Acton Academy is one such school. Expect to see these types of schools expanding throughout the United States and beyond.
#7 – 10 Reasons Why Concordia Publishing House is a Model for Innovation in the Publishing Industry – One reason this article gained attention is because CPH has a loyal group of followers, but I also think that people are curious about the future of the publishing industry in the digital age.
#6 – Curious Schools: The Secret to Improving Education – As debates about testing grew in 2015, even with the President speaking out against excessive testing, more people are resonating with a different focus in our schools, drawing our attention to the essence of great learning communities, curiosity and the love of learning.
#5 – Professor Leaves Academia to Start a New and Game Changing Kind of College – New models and innovations in education are not limited to K-12 startups. We also see a small but important group of new higher education startups, with Wayfinding Academy leading the way, casting a vision for a purpose and passion-driven approach to college. Look for more such higher education startups in the upcoming years.
#4 – Adding Depth to Our Comparison of Face-to-Face and Online Education – With MOOCs putting online education in more media headlines over the last couple of years along with traditional online degrees growing in adoption by state and liberal arts colleges, this article about an age-old conversation captured reader interest. What are the benefits and limitations of face-to-face versus online learning? How do we move to a deeper and more sophisticated converstaion about this topic?
#3 – 10 Higher Education Trends to Watch in 2015 – People are always intrigued by new trends and developments in education, and that was no different in 2015. My article highlighting ten of the top trends received countless social shares and provoked some good conversation. Of course, looking at this article at the end of 2015 affirms my earlier predictions. These ten remain hot topics and will extend far into the future.
#2 – Do Schools Make Students Socially Awkward – One of the fastest growing segments in K-12 education is homeschooling, possibly because of disappointment with other options, but inspired as much or more by people realizing the power of emerging resources and technologies for incredibly powerful and personalized learning experiences.
#1 – What are the 10 Most Critical Issues in Education? – I’m so happy to see that, out of all the articles I wrote in 2015, the one that reached the most readers was not just about new trends and innovations, but it was about the compelling why behind those trends and innovations. I remain convinced that people today are hungry for a deeper, more substantive, more thoughtful consideration about education reform and the future of education.