"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, August 13, 2018

Charter School Teacher Chokes and Drags Student By the Neck

Edu-Blocks Arrive in New Hampshire

Roughly two months ago I discovered Southern New Hampshire University had become the first academic institution in North America to issue a diploma credential / education transcript on the Blockchain. It surprised me. I knew Learning Machine (MIT) was working on this in Malta, but I had no clue there was a domestic trial underway. I dove in, did a lot of research, and created the map below. To view an interactive version that is actually readable click here.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Getting College Ready for the Kids

For many past generations of college bound students, the years of elementary and high school focused on getting kids ready for a different kind of learning that focused on breadth and depth, analysis, synthesis, collaboration, perspective, nuance, and even taste.  What young college aspirant of the past, including me, did not heard how it would be different "when you get to college."

That was before the masters of Silicon Valley created the "cater to and control" generation, with a never-ending stream of apps, applets, and craplets to keep humans connected to their screens.  Making society more and more technology dependent has become the dominant and most lucrative business model in the world (witness Apple's trillion dollar value), and collecting, archiving, and selling of personal data has further intensified the development and marketing of more and more new programs and hardware that, in turn, seek to satisfy every conceivable need, even before consumers are aware of a need.  Make need, will satisfy.

When combined with the present day academic arms race, or armchair race, to fill classroom seats with the best students, whereby the university has moved marketing and retention to the top of of its priority list, a perfect storm for student self-centeredness has resulted.  Instead of kids today preparing for college, colleges today are trying desperately to prepare for the kids.

Whether it means issuing new iPads with the orientation loaded, removing cooperative projects from syllabi because today's students prefer isolation (wonder why), or posting online office hours from 10 to midnight (when students need help), colleges and universities are fully engaged in a new renaissance of mollification and personal appeasement, the likes of which has never been seen before.  It would almost seem that the student is in the driver's seat, except that in this case the student is in the back seat of a vehicle being driven by a program created in Silicon Valley.