What is going to happen to the educational landscape? Can traditional higher education continue with the status quo and survive? Will online learning take over? These and so many other interesting concepts are discussed in this fascinating and accessibly written book by Mirasee founder Danny Iny.
Title: Leveraged Learning: How the Disruption of Education Helps Lifelong Learners, and Experts with Something to Teach
By Author: Danny Iny
Publisher: Ideapress Publishing
Available through Amazon in hardcover, audiobook and Kindle editions. You can find it at other online and offline booksellers, as well.
Summary of Leveraged Learning
Since the Industrial Revolution, society has been changing more and more rapidly. Every industry and aspect of life has gone through at least one paradigm shift due to the disruption of some sometimes seemingly small change. According to author Danny Iny, it is now education’s turn.
In Leveraged Learning, he explains a variety of concepts, from “The Story of Progress” to “Why Modern Education Is Ineffective, Overpriced, and Ubiquitous.” He talks about how education evolved over time and his predictions for where it will go in the future.
I believe this book discusses an idea whose time has come. While I was reading it, the University where I work started talking about many of the same topics I was reading. In fact, I went to a presentation where they talked about four major trends in Higher Education:
1. New modes of learning — online learning options are not only increasing but becoming more and more what students want, need and expect.
2. New degrees of value — Traditional four-year degrees are not as desirable as they once were. Students are wanting—and needing—more flexible, non-traditional credentials, such as nano-degrees and online certificates of completion.
3. Change nature of work — We are moving away from the “day job” economy and more and more into the “gig” economy. Workers have greater flexibly while losing job security.
4. Decline public support — State funding is declining and the public is not likely to pick up the tab. New sources or even models of revenue need to be developed.
All of these concepts and more are discussed in Iny’s book, Leveraged Learning.
What I liked about Leveraged Learning
I will admit that I have a crush on this book. As I read it my intellect was stimulated, my imagination was engaged and I spoke to anyone who would listen to me about the concepts I was learning. Iny’s writing style is both conversational and authoritative. I not only felt like I was at a table discussing the topic with him, but also that he really knew what he was talking about. He had done his research and didn’t completely rely on his personal experience.
At the end of each chapter, the author provides a series of questions to help the reader fully integrate with the information provided in that chapter. These would make great conversation starters if a book club read this book.
I also liked the list of further reading provided at the end of each chapter. I definitely added some of his suggestions to my Amazon Wish List!
What I didn’t like about Leveraged Learning
Throughout the book, I felt there was an underlying promise that the book would provide advice to course creators on how to use the ideas it shared and practically apply them in the real world. In fact, one chapter is called “Designing Great Courses.” However, I don’t think this promise was fully realized. I finished the book still wondering how I could help my students gain more value from courses I create.
What I’d Love to See in the Second Edition
If there is a second edition of this book, I would love to see one chapter that provided practical advice to help readers apply what they learned to the real world. I don’t think the learning self-assessment at the end of the chapters went far enough. It is one thing to be “one with the theory,” which these assessments help readers become. And it is entirely another thing to apply that theory in the real world.
I think this book is a must-read for anyone involved in or interested in education. How we learn is changing with the advance in technology. What we need to learn is changing with the evolution of business. Although this book may not answer all the questions it raises, I feel that it is import to raise them so that we can start exploring possible solutions together.
Score: 4 out of 5
NOTE: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If you’ve read past book reviews, you’ll know that I don’t pull my punches when I believe they are warranted. I also try to provide balanced information so you can make your own decision to read or not read the book, even if you disagree with my opinion.