Educating the Poor in India: Lessons for America — from by Peter Meyer


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From DSC:
The pace of innovation continues — what does this mean for our current engineering programs? For the future curriculum of engineering-related programs? How does this rapid change of pace affect our schools of education?  Should we be introducing more courses on pulse-checking/trend watching/courses in futurism? In robotics? Other?

Mitsubishi shows off what car interfaces will look like in 10 years — from


Image credit: DigInfo

Cloud Learning as Universal Primary Education — from Teemu Arina


The internet is lowering the transaction costs of learning. This leads to a situation where learning happens more and more in the open markets, in a distributed and decentralized manner. It is obvious that the primary interface will be based on mobile, cloud-based devices. Some principles…

There are effectively three levels of certification: 1st hand, 2nd hand and 3rd hand certification.

  • 1st hand certification is what you say you know.
    In the old world you would describe your skills in a resume and leave it to the employer to evaluate if that holds true. In the new world you can make your work and learning processes visible as it happens, demonstrating progress and increasing the believability of your 1st hand descriptions. A simple blog (a log of thoughts) makes reflection visible  and demonstrates the evolution and iteration of thinking as it happens.
  • 2nd hand certification is what others say about you.
    In the old world you would describe your references in a resume and leave it to the employer to call these references to evaluate if these people really value your work and learning. In the new world people accumulate links, likes and comments to the resources you produce on social networks. A Klout score on social media or a personal stock price based on social media activity on EmpireAvenue demonstrate your social capital through a simple metric. The question is, are you making an impact with your progress, enabling other people to build on top of your work through reflection and co-creation, or are you effectively invisible to others?
  • 3rd hand certification is what an authority says about you.
    In the old world you would get a certificate on hand to add in your resume that you have demonstrated the ability to pass a specific rat test (a school). This doesn’t necessarily mean you have mastered all the topics involved, but it demonstrates that you have been capable of passing such tests under the supervision of an authority. In the new world a single test in isolation is not enough but your ability to solve problems in connection with others.

Dreaming: A look at Anastasis Academy — from by Kelly Tenkely


You will notice that we don’t have rows of desks.  No teacher’s desk either.  We have space that kids can move in. Corners to hide in, stages to act on, floors to spread out on, cars to read in.  We are learning how to learn together, learning how to respect other children’s space and needs, learning how to discipline ourselves when we need to, learning how to work collaboratively, we are learning to be the best us.





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5 ideas for responding to what kids want the nation to know about educationfrom The Innovative Educator by Lisa Nielsen


In the session the focus was clear. Educators and the former principal (YAY for administrators) who attended wanted to know how we can hear the children and show them they matter, we love them, and we want to honor their unique passions, talents, interests, and abilities.  We discussed a lot of great ideas.  Here are five ways we discussed addressing what students want from education:

  1. Rather than bubbletests, measure student progress with personal success plans.
  2. Rather than report cards and transcripts allow students to showcase their learning with an authentic ePortfolio.
  3. Rather than work that only has the teacher as the audience, empower students to do real work that matters to them and has a real audience.
  4. Rather than telling students how to meet learning goals, empower them to drive their own learning as participant Deven Black explained he does (visit this link to see how).
  5. Have conversations with students about what their talents are.  You can use the videos in this article that feature students sharing stories about their talents.

Public school choice pushed in Michigan — from by Sean Cavanagh


At a time when many states are adopting controversial measures to launch or expand private school vouchers, Republicans in Michigan are taking a different direction, moving ahead with a plan that would greatly expand the menu of public school choices for students and parents.

GOP lawmakers, who control both state legislative chambers, have introduced a series of proposals that would give students more freedom to attend schools outside their districts, increase options for taking college classes while in high school, and encourage the growth of charter schools and online education offerings. (emphasis DSC)

Many of those proposals mirror the stated priorities of first-term Gov. Rick Synder, a Republican, who earlier this year called for establishing “open access to a quality education without boundaries.” He described the idea as an “any time, any place, any way, any pace” model. (emphasis DSC)

The Digital Promise - September 2011


Digital Promise is an independent 501(c)(3), created through Section 802 of the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, authorizing a nonprofit corporation known as the National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies (Digital Promise). According to the statute, Digital Promise’s purpose is “to support a comprehensive research and development program to harness the increasing capacity of advanced information and digital technologies to improve all levels of learning and education, formal and informal, in order to provide Americans with the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the global economy.”

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It’s time to take the black male achievement crisis seriously — from Liz Dwyer


Despite the dire statistics on how the education system fails black males—only 50 percent of them graduate from high school—the issue generally isn’t addressed with a sense of urgency. So veteran broadcaster Tavis Smiley has committed to spending the next year asking tough questions and finding solutions to the problem. He kicked off the effort last night with “Too Important to Fail,” an hour-long PBS special featuring interviews with education experts and black male students in Chicago, Philadelphia, Oakland, and Los Angeles.

Also see:

Too Important to Fail


Addendum on 9/20/11:

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Two rants from DSC:

RANT #1:

When someone questions the value of investing in educational technology — especially those technologies that give a student access to the Internet — they’re often inferring that, “Other people don’t know anything of value.”

It should go without saying from here on out that if I can gain access to the Internet through a variety of educational technologies, I’ve just opened up a world of knowledge — tapping into expertise from all over the globe regarding any discipline imaginable! Whether that be at school, church, home, work, etc. — doesn’t matter…value is there…instantly.

Don’t tell me that isn’t valuable!  Stop saying that we’re not getting value from investing in such educational technologies.

RANT #2:

I dropped my daughter off early at school today so that she could help feed the animals in a classroom located at the back of the school (where the teacher had authorized access to such students). Another teacher told her to go to the front of the building…ok…

Then, as I’m driving her to the front of the building, I ask her, “How are things going in getting to the bus in time?” She had 4 minutes to make the trek the other day from the end of the school, carrying a backpack that weighs in at about 25-30 pounds!  She told me that she can not take her backpack to her last class in order to make the mad dash to the bus. Security precautions perhaps?

All these rules. All these “don’t do this”, “don’t do that!” “Sit down.” “Stand over there – now.” “Be quiet.”

Then we wonder why they don’t own their own learning. *&*$$%    Then we wonder why they don’t love learning.  Double *&*$$%



Student Experience Lab

Student Experience Lab - September 2011

What if school nurtured the passion and interest of every young person? — from Anne Knock


As we move away from valuing some intelligences over others and recognising that there is value in the contributions of all – school can become the nurturing ground for all students, as it should be.

We need to create environments – in our schools, in our workplaces and in our public offices – where every person is inspired to grow creatively. We need to make sure that all people have the chance to do what they should be doing, the discover the *Element in themselves and in their own way.

Ken Robinson The Element: How finding your passion changes everything

* Element – the place where things we love to do and things we are good at come together.

Reform the PhD system or close it down! : Mark Taylor — from The Center for Internet Research; posted by Reid Cornwell (emphasis DSC)
There are too many doctoral programs, producing too many PhDs for the job market. Shut some and change the rest, says Mark C. Taylor [Chair of the Department of Religion at Columbia University in New York and the author of Crisis on Campus: A Bold Plan for Reforming Our Colleges and Universities (Knopf, 2010)]


The system of PhD education in the United States and many other countries is broken and unsustainable, and needs to be re-conceived. In many fields, it creates only a cruel fantasy of future employment that promotes the self-interest of faculty members at the expense of students. The reality is that there are very few jobs for people who might have spent up to 12 years on their degrees.

There are two responsible courses of action: either radically reform doctoral programs or shut them down.

The necessary changes are both curricular and institutional. One reason that many doctoral programs do not adequately serve students is that they are overly specialized, with curricula fragmented and increasingly irrelevant to the world beyond academia. Expertise, of course, is essential to the advancement of knowledge and to society. But in far too many cases, specialization has led to areas of research so narrow that they are of interest only to other people working in the same fields, subfields or sub-subfields. Many researchers struggle to talk to colleagues in the same department, and communication across departments and disciplines can be impossible.

If doctoral education is to remain viable in the twenty-first century, universities must tear down the walls that separate fields, and establish programs that nourish cross-disciplinary investigation and communication. They must design curricula that focus on solving practical problems, such as providing clean water to a growing population. Unfortunately, significant change is unlikely to come from faculty members, who all too often remain committed to traditional approaches. Students, administrators, trustees and even people from the public and private sectors must create pressure for reform.


From DSC:

  • Again, the phrase staying relevant comes to my mind, as does the word reinvent.  Academia doesn’t need to pour more fuel on the backlash that’s building up against it.


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