SchwartzReport: Charter Education, Public Dollars, Ideological Outcomes

Categories: 04 Education
Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

The Charter School Movement, whatever it might have intended in the beginning, has become something of a racket. Like all privatization movements it is about finding a way to tap the public treasury to make profit. Unfortunately, what it was supposed to deliver has not panned out — improved education for children.  Note particularly the involvement of the Koch brothers. For close to a decade they have been exploring ways to use their money to bias the education of children to their worldview on the theory that if they can get them young they can mold them to support the policies they espouse.

How Public Education Dollars Are Flowing Into For-Profit Companies

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Oct 21

Berto Jongman: Outernet Provides Data Offline

Categories: 04 Education
Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Outernet aims to provide data to the net unconnected

“When you talk about the internet, you talk about two main functions – communication and information access,” he told the BBC. “It’s the communication part that makes it so expensive.” So, Outernet focuses instead on information. The project aims to create a “core archive” of the world’s most valuable knowledge, culled from websites including Wikipedia and Project Gutenberg, a collection of copyright-free e-books. This would be updated on roughly a monthly basis.

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Oct 15

Berto Jongman: Harvard to Journal Publishers – Piss Off! Open Access Here We Come…

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Harvard University says it can’t afford journal publishers’ prices

University wants scientists to make their research open access and resign from publications that keep articles behind paywalls

Exasperated by rising subscription costs charged by academic publishers, Harvard University has encouraged its faculty members to make their research freely available through open access journals and to resign from publications that keep articles behind paywalls.

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Oct 13

Berto Jongman: German Universities Now Free — To International Students as Well as German Students

Categories: 04 Education
Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

German Universities Ditch Fees

Even international students can now study anywhere in Germany for free, as Britain’s youth continues to be angered over the issue.

Lower Saxony has become the last of Germany’s states to abolish fees for university students.

Announcing the decision, science and culture minister Gabrielle Heinen-Kjajic was quoted by germanpulse.com as saying in a statement the decision was taken “because we do not want higher education which depends on the wealth of the parents”.

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Oct 6

JZ Liszkiewicz: Free Book The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America

Jason "JZ" Liszkiewicz

Jason “JZ” Liszkiewicz

In the process of gathering this information two beliefs that most Americans hold in common became clear:

1) If a child can read, write and compute at a reasonably proficient level, he will be able to do just about anything he wishes, enabling him to control his destiny to the extent that God allows (remain free);

2) Providing such basic educational proficiencies is not and should not be an expensive proposition.

Since most Americans believe the second premise—that providing basic educational proficiencies is not and should not be an expensive proposition—it becomes obvious that it is only a radical agenda, the purpose of which is to change values and attitudes (brainwash), that is the costly agenda. [Emphasis added.]

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 THE SOWING OF THE SEEDS: 1 late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

2 THE TURNING OF THE TIDES: 7 early twentieth century

3 THE TROUBLING THIRTIES 17

4 THE FOMENTATION 27 of the forties and fifties

5 THE SICK SIXTIES: 55 psychology and skills

6 THE SERIOUS SEVENTIES 93 7 THE “EFFECTIVE” EIGHTIES 159

8 THE NOXIOUS NINETIES 265

Free Book in PDF Form, and More, Below the Fold

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Oct 5

Michael Kearnes: Venture Capitalists Are Poised to “Disrupt” Everything About the Education Market

Michael S. Kearns

Michael S. Kearns

Venture Capitalists Are Poised to “Disrupt” Everything About the Education Market

EXTRACT

Next year, the market size of K-12 education is projected to be $788.7 billion. And currently, much of that money is spent in the public sector. “It’s really the last honeypot for Wall Street,” says Donald Cohen, the executive director of In the Public Interest, a think tank that tracks the privatization of roads, prisons, schools and other parts of the economy.

That might be changing soon as barriers to investment are rapidly fading. As Eric Hippeau, a partner with Lerer Ventures, the venture capital firm behind viral entertainment company BuzzFeed and several education start-ups, has argued, despite the opposition of “unions, public school bureaucracies, and parents,” the “education market is ripe for disruption.”

Hippeau’s vision is the growing sentiment among investors. Education technology firms secured a record $1.25 billion in investments across 378 deals in 2013, while analysts predict that number will continue to surge this year. Since 2010, Moe has led what has been billed as the premiere education investment conference, which takes place annually in Scottsdale, Arizona. The first year attracted around 370 people and 55 presenting companies. This year, that number soared to over 2,000 with over 290 presenting companies and speeches by luminaries including former Governor Jeb Bush, Magic Johnson and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. One of the largest start-ups, a Herndon, Virginia–based company called K12 Inc., a for-profit largely online charter chain, posted nearly $1 billion in annual revenue for its last fiscal year in August.

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Oct 3

Danielle Villegas: Design of Learning

Danielle Villegas

Danielle Villegas

This is a great blog post by Clark Quinn, e-learning guru whom I think highly of. His post talks about whether there is a science to learning (spoiler: there is) and how e-learning professionals should frame it as learning engineers. It got me wondering how content engineers and other technical communicators beyond those in the e-learning field approach this.

Design like a pro

In other fields of endeavors, there is a science behind the approaches.  In civil engineering, it’s the properties of materials.  In aviation, it’s aeronautical engineering.  In medicine, it’s medical science.  If you’re going to be a professional in your field, you have to know the science.  So, two questions: is there a science of learning, and is it used.  The answers appear to be yes and no.  And yet, if you’re going to be a learning designer or engineer, you should know the science and be using it.

There is a science of learning, and it’s increasingly easy to find.  That’s the premise behind the Serious eLearning Manifesto, for instance (read it, sign it, use it!).  You could read Julie Dirksen’s Design for How People Learn as a very good interpretation of the science.  The Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center is compiling research to provide guidance about learning if you want a fuller scientific treatment.  Or read Bransford, et al’s summary of the science of How People Learna very rich overview.  And Hess & Saxberg’s recent Breakthrough Leadership in the Digital Age: Using Learning Science to Reboot Schooling is both a call for why and some guidance on how.

Among the things we know are that rote and abstract information isn’t retained, knowledge test doesn’t mean ability to do, getting it right once doesn’t mean it’s known, the list goes on.  Yet, somehow, we see elearning tools like ‘click to learn more’ (er, less), tarted up quiz show templates to drill knowledge, easy ways to take content and add quizzes to them, and more.  We see elearning that’s arbitrary info dump and simplistic knowledge test.  Which will have a negligible impact on anything meaningful.

We’re focused on speed and cost efficiencies, not on learning outcomes, and that’s not professional.  Look, if you’re going to do design, do it right.   Anything less is really malpractice!

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Sep 25