Disruptive Innovations Transforming High School & College Education for Students

This book is a wonderful, insightful read. It made me think about how the education sector, especially high school and college/university, will need to innovate or face many disruptive innovators' dilemmas.

Educational Disruptive Innovation

High schools and colleges have the potential to revolutionize education through disruptive innovation. By focusing on simplicity, affordability, and accessibility, these institutions can make education more inclusive and reach the underserved or marginalized. This could involve the development of low-cost educational materials, such as open educational resources (OER), or using technology to connect with remote or disadvantaged communities. Such innovations promise not only more equitable and accessible education systems in developed and developing societies but also a more engaging and dynamic learning environment for students.

Cost-effective Technologies

Educational branches of government that create and dictate the curriculum for schools and colleges can balance quality and affordability by prioritizing innovations that deliver the most value for the least cost. This might involve using cost-effective technologies such as open-source, Linux, and other FOSS software and implementing scalable teaching methods requiring fewer resources.

Hybrid Learning

Hybrid learning models that combine traditional classroom instruction with online learning opportunities are rising. This disruptive approach increases flexibility and accessibility, allowing students to access educational resources and participate in classes from anywhere. This impact is significant, as it not only provides students with more control over their learning but also prepares them for the digital age. Sustaining innovation plays a crucial role in ensuring that online content and instruction quality is consistently improved over time.


We are already amid massive open online courses - MOOCs that are either free or very low cost effective from Coursera, edX, Gale Online Courses through Public Libraries, Udacity, LinkedIn, Google, Microsoft, high schools, and colleges/universities in various subjects and skill building. Micro-credentialing and stackable credential programs allow students to earn modular certifications and credentials aligned with specific skills or competencies. This disruptive innovation provides alternative pathways to traditional degrees and enhances students' employability. Sustaining innovation ensures that employers and educational institutions recognize and value these credentials.

Flexible Diploma & Degree Pathways

High schools and colleges/universities are embracing flexible diploma and degree pathways, empowering students to customize their educational experiences based on their interests, goals, and prior learning experiences. NAIT's Trades to Degrees Pathway to BBA Degree in Management is a prime example of disruptive innovation that enables adults to pursue business management studies in an accelerated degree program.


By combining disruptive and sustaining innovations, education can become more inclusive, adaptable, and responsive to the diverse needs of high school and college/university students, ultimately improving access, quality, and affordability for all learners.

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