|—||Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Senator Warren’s 1st Bill: Gov. Should Offer Same Loan Rates to Students as Big Banks.|
This is not mere Luddism.
Companies, colleges, and columnists gush about the utopian possibilities of technology. But digital life has a bleaker side, too. Over the weekend, a cross-disciplinary group of scholars convened here to focus attention on the lesser-noticed consequences of innovation.
Have you heard about this? Students are putting the amount they will owe once they graduate on the tops of their Graduation Caps.
You can even buy an inflatable ball and chain set from this web site, OccupyGraduation.net
I occupy education because:
- The big picture is being shattered into smaller and smaller pieces.
- We need less competition and more cooperation—now more than ever.
- The labels we assign to students (and other people) become our blinders.
- Learning “disabilities” may actually be wonderful gifts.
- We become less human the more we allow ourselves to be measured, tracked, and reduced to bits of data.
- Teachers and students are not robots.
- Imagination—not productivity—is the engine of human progress.
- “Normal” is a myth. Diversity is the truth.
- Humanity will not survive the future without demonstrating compassion, curiosity, respect, and cooperation.
- We can do better. We must.
Read the full manifesto here: ‘Disabled’ Students and Forgotten Frontiers: A Manifesto for All of Us.
Over the past 20 years, college costs have more than doubled. Median income, however, has stayed about the same.
Koch’s toxic dollars hit higher education, eroding academic freedom.
“Although the Koch Foundation’s objectives are written so as to sound upbeat and cheerful, they amount to code words calling for the dismantling of the welfare state,” [Cary] Nelson [, president of the American Association of University Professors and Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,] wrote in an e-mail. “ ‘Economic freedom’ sounds like mom and apple pie until you realize it means the government shouldn’t collect taxes, and ‘free voluntary processes’ means buy health care on your own if you can afford it.
“It is wholly inappropriate for an outside foundation to use a university to promote its ideological biases in this way,” he continued. “The Kochs can fund positions to hire faculty members who study these issues, but not control what stand the faculty members hired take on them. That distinction is part of the firewall protecting academic freedom.”
It’s clear where our societal priorities lie. Click through to the article to weep at which states spend as much or more on corrections than higher education. (I’m moving to MN.)
This is very disturbing and distressing, indeed. However, in all of his great knowledge, he fails to account for the structural constraints on academics, instead, blaming them for the systemic failures he cites.
November 12, 2010
The Shadow Scholar
The man who writes your students’ papers tells his story
Jonathan Barkat for The Chronicle Review
By Ed DanteJonathan Barkat for The Chronicle Review
Editor’s note: Ed Dante is a pseudonym for a writer who lives on the East Coast. Through a literary agent, he approached The Chronicle wanting to tell the story of how he makes a living writing papers for a custom-essay company and to describe the extent of student cheating he has observed. In the course of editing his article, The Chronicle reviewed correspondence Dante had with clients and some of the papers he had been paid to write. In the article published here, some details of the assignment he describes have been altered to protect the identity of the student.
I have a different way of thinking about Facebook to try out. How about “the hand that burns the cradle rules the world”? I say this because Facebook had its infancy in higher education, which also was its first user base. It’s ironic now to see it spite the very community that gave it its start. Is this the Web 2.0 equivalent of the teen tantrum, only with a teen that has a much larger circle of friends?
It’s interesting to see Jessica Krywosa, director of Web Communications at Suffolk University referring to Facebook as “the Wild, Wild West.” That was a simile we used to describe the Internet in its adolescence, in the late ’90s. We are supposed to have moved away from this, especially with Web 2.0, the “read-write” web.
I understand and am somewhat critical of the concern about “branding” of higher education. On the one hand, good marketing brings students, and we love them. On the other, I argue that too rigid a concern with branding impinges on academic freedom thereby diluting creativity.
That having been said, there is the larger issue of improving the quality of information about organizations by negotiation. This is one thing organizations do. (Can’t we all just get along?) Lastly, we are in part talking about the failure of search algorithms. A visit to the community pages of one of the campuses where I teach turns up a reference to “drunk dialing” from a party. I’m sure that’s not a image of the institution it wants to offer to the public.
Speaking most generally, then, this becomes an issue of the human curation of content. (Might this after all be the web equivalent of peer review?) I’m not convinced that the introduction of artificial intelligence some see as a defining characteristic of Web 3.0 will be the liberating and democratizing moment many see in Web 2.0.
May 12, 2010, 03:45 PM ET
By Marc Parry
An official Facebook page is like a garden. Colleges have invested effort and money tending their patches of the social-networking site, even bringing in outside vendors to help with the landscaping.
Now they’re fretting that a new Facebook feature—community pages—will undermine their efforts.
Community pages aggregate content about topics by pulling information from Wikipedia and from posts by Facebook users connected to those topics. So, for example, the community page for Clark College displays one post about an upcoming conference and another slamming the institution as a place “run by morally corrupt DB’s.” If you search for Clark, the site doesn’t even turn up its main page in the top eight results, as the blogger Michael Fienen points out in a post entitled “Facebook Hates Your Brand.”
The problem, as Jessica Krywosa sees it, is that nobody has reached out to official sources to hijack their pages and make them the community page, where everyone could get information from one space.