The top hand and the bottom hand in higher education

hand measurement test
In the past five years I’ve attended many conferences about new models for learning and collaborating in the 21st century.

I’ve noticed that conference presenters often describe learners as falling on a vertical scale.

It usually comes out as this “innovative program, app, concept will apply to all learners from ‘tech schools and community colleges’  (bottom hand) to graduate schools (top hand). Does anyone else notice this?

Does it mean that learners adopt more sophisticated learning at the top level? Maker Faire and Tech schools relate in sophisticated ways.

Or maybe it’s the 20th century practice where you are older by the time you do a PHD versus tech school and so it goes from young at the bottom to older at top. 60% of the student body in the US are adult learners so that now in any type of schooling the age range is mixed.

Maybe soon presenters will use a hand motion in a circle to describe learners instead of a hierarchy.