10 New Words and Ideas for Higher Education Pedagouging - the rapid and injurious spikes in the cost of higher education, which prompt nearly all students to accrue harmful levels of debt. Higher rEd - A slang term for those increasing levels of indebtedness.  A supplement to the term “debt factories,” which is already being applied to the many institutions which seem to exist for the sole purpose of producing heavily indebted young adults who either graduate with useless degrees or don’t graduate at all. The Multiversity - the set of all courses offered online by all colleges and universities.  The word may be used in discussions of future students who pursue an education by taking online classes exclusively, but without limiting themselves to the online offerings of a single institution.  Students who pick and choose the best online course offerings from multiple universities would be said to be attending the “multiversity,” and the existence of such students would necessitate the emergence of third-party institutions to accredit and award such patchwork degrees. Extbook - In an era when education was little more than the memorization of factual data, the textbook was a sensible delivery system for this information.  But now that nearly all learning is a matter of processing abstract concepts, why use books anymore?  If a TEDTalk promotes this understanding in a more efficient way, why not use it?  The Extbook (think Ex-book, Ex’ed book, and outside-of-book) will combine video, audio, captioned images, and the occasional text in a Web 2.0 format (like tumblr) which allows for comments, shares, reblogs, and the like. Paleo-Ed - As more and more coursework moves into the digital realm, expect a small subculture of students to reject mediated education altogether.  To respond to this niche market, a few institutions will begin to offer specialized courses which eschew technology entirely, opting instead to meet outside, perambulate, and engage in Socratic discussions, poetry reading, hands-on botany, and the like. Convergent Disciplinarity - Interdisciplinarity and Post-Disciplinarity have been the quiet rage for some time now, and the academy has successfully bridged or found common interdisciplinary ground between a number of previously distinct disciplines.  Convergent Disciplinarity refers to the go-for-broke intellectual game of identifying and connecting all disciplines which have not yet been connected, and offering courses or programs at the site of those new connections.  It also portends the looming novelty crisis which will surely erupt when there are no more disciplines left to converge. Tunnel Students - students who because of academic tunnel vision or K-12 failure are under-informed or completely unaware of large portions of general subject matter - for instance, students well-versed in Judith Butler but who don’t know who fought in World War II or how many millions are in a billion, or students who can navigate Ring Theory but haven’t heard of Citizen Kane or Vermeer.  (By the way, we might call professors, adjuncts, and administrators who also suffer from similar knowledge-gaps “acadumbics”.) Humblemanities - Since there is so much information of general relevance which everyone “ought” to know, it would be very difficult for a single course to cover it all.  However, of the few institutions that feel a moral obligation to correct some of the glaring ignorance of their Tunnel Students, most will be unable to devote more than one Freshman-level course to it.  Therefore, expect these colleges and universities to introduce general knowledge courses designed not to fill in gaps in students’ awareness, but rather just to make them aware that those gaps exist - that is, to humble them with the sudden revelation of how much they don’t know. Attenuration - the slow loss (or attenuation) of tenured faculty positions. Dust Cafe - the modern university’s brick-and-mortar library, which students value less for the presence of its books and more for the presence of a coffee-and-snack shop with internet access.

Neil Bruder @neilbruder