The idea that you can just put stuff out there, and that it will magically be effective and used effectively — there’s just no evidence of that,” Twigg says. Collecting evidence requires integrating with college classrooms, which requires scale and support, which requires money, she says. Lots of it. “Sixteen million dollars is not chump change,” says Twigg, “but you need to be able to support and sustain it.” Nonprofit projects in higher education do not have a great track record on this, she points out, not even the most highly regarded ones.
Carol Twigg on Khan Academy
But this is what I see as the next wave: demonize the public schools, create this marketplace where people think, instead of thinking of the common good, instead of thinking of community, instead of thinking what’s good for our children, we say, what’s in it for me? What about my child? Forget about your children, that’s your problem. My child. That’s market thinking…But the goal is to move away from public education as a public responsibility, like the fire department, like the police department, like public parks, like other kinds of public facilities. Privatize public education so that everyone becomes a consumer, children become products, and entrepreneurs can find lots and lots of money to be made. That is somehow going to make us globally competitive.
Diane Ravitch, quoted by Will Richardson
On the basis of that research, Ms. Howard calls for a “fundamental shift” in how writing is taught. Professors should focus more on starting the research process collaboratively with students, she says. They should select a few complex sources and explore them with the whole class.
“What that means is not rushing students quite so quickly in their first semester in college into writing a 25-page research paper written from 15 sources,” she says, “but rather taking them through the process of engaging with those sources first.”
The Chronicle of Higher Ed, Software Catches (and Also Helps) Young Plagiarists.
That people can see goods and services in the shop window but have no money to buy them is the classic failure of capitalism. That people have money but there are no goods in the shop window is the classic failure of socialism.
Not to be too simplistic but our current problem looks more like the first than the second.
It’s not so much a case of “Here Comes Everybody”, as of “Everybody Was Here All Along”. People aren’t late to this party, technology and business are.
Matt Edgar, http://matt.me63.com/2008/05/22/erm-excuse-me-but-i-think-everybody-was-here-all-along/
The great body of physical science, a great deal of the essential fact of financial science, and endless social and political problems are only accessible and only thinkable to those who have had a sound training in mathematical analysis, and the time may not be very remote when it will be understood that for complete initiation as an efficient citizen of one of the new great complex worldwide States that are now developing, it is as necessary to be able to compute, to think in averages and maxima and minima, as it is now to be able to read and write.
H G Wells, Mankind in the Making (1903)
This is part of what drives me crazy about debates around charter schools and “choice” in the United States. Every prosperous family in the Washington, DC metro area is exercising public school choice when they decide where to live.
And let’s face it, Google isn’t making us stupider, it’s simply making us realise that omniscience is actually slightly boring.
Douglas Coupland, here. I’d add that omniscience is not only boring, but also not nearly as useful as one would have thought.