The GSV Big 10: Is College Worth It (And Who Should Pay For It)?
Here's your weekly coverage corner for the top 10 stories, insights, and major plays in education and upskilling.
#1 Nation’s report card: Massive drop in math scores, slide in reading linked to COVID disruption
I am shocked…about as shocked as Captain Louis Renault was to find gambling going on in Casablanca. That is to say, not shocked at all by these results—what did we expect when students were out of school for two years? What we’re truly surprised about is how those who kept schools closed (teacher’s unions) have remained quiet on the subject.
#2 Machines Can Craft Essays. How Should Writing Be Taught Now?
Going from Point A to Point B might be faster in a car but learning how to walk and run is still critical. The calculator doesn’t replace learning math fundamentals; writing AI doesn’t mean you miss out on learning how to conjugate verbs. The delicate dance in the ‘Accelerated Learning’ age is to gain the fundamentals while hitting the target as efficiently and effectively as possible.
#3 Is College Worth It? Voters Are Split.
Just like in Orwell’s “1984” society is denying evidence with their own eyes. Everyone can see the correlation between education and earnings, but nearly two-thirds of Republicans disagree. With two views on reality and so little trust, facts aren’t facts anymore. If we can’t agree on the value of higher education, what can we agree on?
#4 VR biology lab experience leads to student success
Finally, VR is (literally) in our faces. 5,000 students’ faces at ASU, to be specific. Dreamscape Learn has shown incredible improvement in student engagement and grades—9% overall—through its VR biology labs. It’s ‘Hollywood meets Harvard’ in a major way.
#5 Companies like Starbucks and Chipotle are paying hourly employees’ college tuition. One graduate keeps asking, ‘Is this real?’
Taking care of employees through quality healthcare and stock options is not only the right thing but also the economically smart thing. Starbucks figured this out thirty years ago. Seems like the idea is finally catching on with the best companies figuring out that ‘Education as a Benefit’ is the right and smart thing to do, seeing an average return of $2 to $3 for every dollar they put into workforce education.
#6 The YouTube learning machine
Almost invisibly, YouTube became the largest learning platform in the world, reaching over 2 billion people. From how to tie a bow tie to winning Olympic medals, everything under the sun is being learned through this medium.
#7 Choose to Learn 2022: Connecting in- and out-of-school learning in a post-pandemic world
In the industrial age, the inspiration for schools was the factory. The problem with this model is that every student is unique, and creating optimized outcomes requires a student-centered approach. As 70% of parents seek student-centered learning experiences, the demand is rising for solutions like micro-schools and apprenticeship programs.
#8 America’s workforce pipeline is in crisis. Here’s how we fix it.
Hidden in plain sight are the “dirty jobs” that nobody wants to talk about—this is where huge needs and opportunities live. Even if every existing skilled worker in America were employed today, 35% of job openings in the durable goods manufacturing sector would remain unfilled. GSV is excited to be an investor to support UpSmith’s mission to combat this skilled labor crisis.
#9 Building the Learning Metaverse with Monica Arés from Meta (podcast)
Remember your college lectures and readings? Me neither. Knowledge retention rates for lectures are 5% and reading at 10%—but in VR it’s 75%. Education is the frontier of VR applications—hear the discussion of five use cases (classical education, time travel, space travel, vocational training, and empathy training) at the 26-minute mark.
#10 Kids who play video games score higher on brain function tests
We’ve been a proponent of ‘Invisible Learning’ for years. As more data comes in, our thesis looks like it could become a theorem. Attention and memory are to learning, as muscle mass is to strength. It just makes sense that doing something you want to do versus something you have to do is more impactful for development.