The Perfect Tipping Point for Education Transformation

Michael Mathews Oral Roberts University
Michael L. Mathews, CIO, Oral Roberts University

I have long been an advocate of helping the global education environment through transformative technology. From designing a recent campus-wide augmented and virtual reality solution for a Global Learning Center, to the Educational Positioning System (EPS) for education-to-career navigation, my passion is to witness an educational transformation on a global scale.

During the past 20-years, the U.S. education system has suffered from a negative educational transformation through the growth of for-profit education institutions, and a major student loan debt crisis. However, there is a clear tipping point as many of the for-profits are being closed, while the facts on the student loan debt and job placement have been exposed. Alongside this shift is the positive addition of ‘guided pathways’ for students through organizations like CompleteCollege, and higher education services and solutions to create those pathways by innovative organizations like Lumerit Education.

There is clearly a fresh tipping-point as I witness the great energies, companies, and educational leaders who are synergizing around positive educational transformation. In the first part of 2017 alone, major strides have been made to enable learners to speed-up their educational journey, while reducing the cost to obtain a degree. I realize there are thousands of educational technology start-ups, but the transformations I chose to list below are meta-levels above start-ups who are simply trying to infuse more technology into education. Technology by itself will never create the positive transformation needed to see a global tipping-point. It will require a combination of technology and educational leaders who have a passion to help students speed-up their journey — while connecting their degree to a great job and reducing their educational debt obligations.

I chose to list just four examples of leaders and organizations creating a positive transformation of global education. There are many more examples, but these four serve as great illustrations of how the positive tipping point is currently happening.

  1. EON Reality has developed an augmented and virtual reality knowledge transfer system over the past 20 years. They are transferring knowledge across education, industry, and sports at rates that are causing multiple tipping points in government, industry, and education. They have signed partnerships with ‘smart cities’ across the globe, as well as leading universities like Oral Roberts University, whose goal is to reach millions around the world with augmented and virtual reality. A sample of ORU’s new Global Learning facility can be seen here. ORU currently has students from 90 different countries, and plan on adding many more countries as they leverage their state-of-the-art Global Learning Center to reach millions of virtual students.
  2. Lumerit Education has developed an environment, platform, and systematic services to collectively impact students, corporate training, and higher education. They have single-handedly put a serious dent in the student loan debt crisis by creating a personalized and student-centric service. They have become the and eHarmony of education by matching students career aspirations with the college of their choice, yet drastically reducing the cost to graduate. Lumerit Education has helped more than 10,000 Lumerit Scholars from 50 States and 23 countries who have received their various degrees from over 300 accredited colleges and universities.
  3. McGraw-Hill Education, which now refers to itself as a ‘learning science’ company has developed a student mobile application called StudyWise. The application leverages analytics and algorithms to enhance how a student reviews lectures and textbooks on their smartphone. In essence, it is an automated flash-card system for the plethora of exams, textbooks, lectures, and quizzes — all bundled for self-guidance on a smartphone.
  4. Julie Young has led an online and virtual learning revolution by starting the Florida Virtual School with 77 online K12 students and growing it to over 2 million in 50 States and 67 countries. In January 2017 Julie became the Deputy VP and CEO of Arizona’s Prep Digital High School. Dr. Young will use her mastery to personalize learning as she builds a digital society between K12 and higher education by connecting cultures and communities around the globe through virtual education.

The Perfect Tipping-Point – These four organizations with thought leaders who each have a minimum of 20-years of passionate experience leading education transformation, illustrate that we are all poised at the perfect moment in the history of education and technology to create the perfect tipping-point. The blending of augmented reality, virtual reality, virtual and online learning, and personalized education-to-career navigation with a global reach is now a reality.  Oral Roberts University in partnership with EON Reality has just demonstrated that students from any location in the world can now access 7,000 augmented and virtual reality learning environments via smart phones while being connected virtually to a Global Learning Center, where everyone is virtually connected and engaged.

Michael L. Mathews
Chief Information Officer, Oral Roberts University


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