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Digital Skillscast

The Future of Higher Education: Betsy Devos

By Nate Riggs on Mar 13, 2017 1:45:06 PM |


The time has finally arrived. The Digital Skillscast would not be a podcast if we didn't stir the pot with the recent controversy over the appointment of Betsy Devos as the U.S. Secretary of Education. 

This week we changed things up a bit. Being a podcast focused higher education, we couldn't contain our excitement to join the conversation around the future of higher education as well as hear your thoughts. Listen in to this week's episode below and leave any comments you have at the bottom of this page. We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Disclaimer - each interview was captured from the U.S. Senate Committee Hearing held on Tuesday, January 17, 2017.

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Meet our featured guests - Betsy DeVos

The Future of Higher Education Betsy Devos The Digital Skillscast 

Betsy DeVos is an American businesswoman, known philanthropist, and was recently elected the 11th United States Secretary of Education. She is a member of the Republican Party and is most known for her consistent support of charter school systems.

According to this source, DeVos is the chairman of the Windquest Group, an investment operating firm that focuses on investing in technology, manufacturing, and other similar industries.

On November 23, 2016, President-elect Trump selected DeVos as his choice for the next U.S. Secretary of Education. This decision has brought mass controversy to the conversation around U.S. education specifically the future of higher education.

Senator Al Franken - U.S. Senator for Minnesota

The Future of Higher Education Al FrankenStarting off his career as a writer and performer on the award-winning television show, Saturday Night Live, Senator Al Franken decided to change directions after several prominent decades as a comedic writer. 

Most known for his strong liberal support, Franken was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008. 

In this week's episode of The Digital Skillscast, Senator Franken challenges Secretary DeVos on her views on the relative advantages of conducting assessments and using those assessments to measure proficiency or measure growth. What do you think? 

When it comes to teaching digital skills in higher education, and trying to arm students with the skills that employers demand, what are you more concerned with - measuring proficiency or measuring growth? Leave your comments in the thread at the bottom of this page.

Senator Elizabeth Warren - U.S. Senator for Massachusetts  

The Future of Higher Education Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Warren is the current Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Before starting her political career, Warren spent the early part of her career in higher education as a professor of law. 

Her interview with Secretary DeVos was perhaps the most popular - focusing on student lending. Senator Warren challenges Betsy Devos on her lack of experience in K12 public schools. 

The Department of Education is in charge of making sure that the $150 million that it invests in students each year falls into the right hands. What do you think? Does Secretary DeVos and her administration have enough responsibility to ensure that federal student aid dollars will be allocated in the appropriate way? Leave your comments below, we'd love to hear your thoughts!  

Bernie Sanders - U.S. Senator for Vermont

The Future of Higher Education Bernie SandersOur last interview in episode #009 of The Digital Skillscast is none other than Senator Bernie Sanders. Bernie is currently the U.S. Senator for the state of Vermont. 

Sanders challenges Betsy DeVos that if her family had previously not made millions of dollars in contributions to the Republican party, she might not be in the position that she is in today.

Do you feel that Betsy DeVos and her family's contributions to the Republican Party are the key reason for the appointment from the Trump Administration as the U.S. Secretary of Education? Let us know in the comments below!  


That's it from us this week. We're letting you continue the conversation. Thank you in advance to the Chronicle of Higher Education as well as Inside Higher Ed for continuing to provide diligent coverage of this subject. 

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Nate Riggs

Written by Nate Riggs

Nate Riggs is the Founder and CEO of NR Media Group, a Certified HubSpot Partner and inbound consulting firm. He leads a team of experienced strategists, content marketers, creatives and technologists that help organizations deploy and use HubSpot’s marketing, sales, and service software to operate more efficiently and accelerate growth. Nate regularly presents keynotes and workshops at top industry conferences like INBOUND, Content Marketing World and Oracle’s Modern CX. In 2017, Nate was recognized by HubSpot for his contributions to the development of the HubSpot Education Partner Program. Nate regularly presents keynotes and workshops at top industry conferences like INBOUND, Content Marketing World and Oracle’s Modern CX. In 2017, Nate was recognized by HubSpot for his contributions to the development of the HubSpot Education Partner Program.