From DSC:
My dad sent me a link to this piece by Bill Moyers called The ‘Crony Capitalist Blowout’.  If you aren’t angry, sad, and/or depressed after watching it, you either don’t have a pulse or you run and live in the circles that Bill Moyers is talking about.

But before we become too discouraged with our situation here in the United States, take solace in one of the most dreaded verses in all of scripture — to be dreaded, at least, by those who:

  • are arrogant, proud, and/or wicked
  • think that the LORD doesn’t see or care what happens on the Earth
  • think that they will never be held accountable for their actions

It’s from Psalm 73 (specifically verse 17)  and it says:

…till I entered the sanctuary of God;
    then I understood their final destiny.

 

In other words, there will be justice.

 

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5 ways online education can keep its students honest — from gigaom.com by Ki Mae Heussner
As online learning platforms like Coursera, Udacity and edX raise the stakes for students with increased partnerships with traditional universities and credit-bearing classes, here are five technologies that can help them thwart cheating.

 

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Opinion: Sandy Hook shows teachers’ enduring values — from courant.com by David Bosso

Excerpt:

To so many, the educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School demonstrate that the core values of education mirror the greatest ideals of humanity, and they are exemplars in this regard. They offer us hope, and reinforce our belief in the goodness of others and the power of education. In an era of accountability, standards, testing and data, they affirm that what ultimately matters most are the immeasurable lessons and the enduring relationships teachers cultivate with their students.

To the educators of Sandy Hook Elementary School, thank you for the powerful, inspiring example of dedication and compassion you have given us. You have made, and continue to make, a difference to so many. In the midst of this unfathomable loss and profound sorrow, you have buoyed our spirits and given us hope. Because of your passion, courage, sacrifice, and devotion, I am once again reassured to proudly declare to educators everywhere: Never again say, “I am just a teacher.”

— I originally saw this on twitter as posted by
Sarah Brown Wessling (@SarahWessling)

Book says ‘Big Data’ becoming a global nervous system — from USA TODAY by Chuck Raasch — with thanks to Ray Schroeder for the resource
Explosion of “Big Data” collection and analysis is hopeful, yet worrisome, trend

Excerpt:

Smolan, a former National Geographic photographer, built the book around a simple premise: That “big data” are becoming a “planetary nervous system,” the potential and consequences of which few have even started to contemplate.

It’s “an extraordinary knowledge revolution that’s sweeping, almost invisibly, through business, academia, government, health care and everyday life,” he says.

That revolution, he says, is being built on “a set of technologies coming together at just the right time, brought about by widespread and low-cost sensors that can now communicate with each other, the plummeting cost of computing power, the ubiquitous everywhere and always-on aspect of the Internet, the rapidly proliferating spread of smart devices.”

Also see:

 

A leadership job description [Myatt]

A leadership job description — from forbes.com by Mike Myatt; with thanks going out to Mr. Joseph Byerwalter for this resource/find

Excerpt (bolding from Mike, not DSC):

There is no perfect leader; only the right leader for a given situation. Great leaders have the innate ability to call on the right skills in a contextually and environmentally appropriate fashion. No single leader can possess every needed attribute. It’s not the traits you possess as a leader, but what you do with them that matters. If I were successful in my genetic engineering exercise I would no doubt have created a leader who would be driven crazy by emotional and intellectual conflicts.

So, what is real leadership? Leadership is about giving credit not taking it, breaking down barriers not building them, destroying bureaucracies not creating them, bridging positional and philosophical gaps not setting boundaries, thinking big and acting bigger, being able to focus on short-term objectives without losing sight of long-term value, not focusing on the volume of outputs but the impact of said outputs, surrender not control, and most of all, leadership is about truly caring for those whom you serve.

When it comes to leadership, it’s not enough to be all you can be, you must focus on helping others become all that they can be.

 

Mike’s definition of leadership (bolding from Mike, not DSC):

“Leadership is the professed desire and commitment to serve others by subordinating personal interests to the needs of those being led through effectively demonstrating the character, experience, humility, wisdom and discernment necessary to create the trust & influence to cause the right things, to happen for the right reasons, at the right times.”

From DSC:
The wetakeyourclass.com website below is very disturbing in terms of the questions it raises — though such questions and activities are certainly not limited to what occurs in the online classroom, as evidenced by The Shadow Scholar (from The Chronicle by Ed Dante) where a man confessed to writing ~5,000 scholarly papers for students, including grad students.

Questions:

  • Should the owners of this site go to jail? Or is this just capitalism gone awry? 
  • Does this business make a profit?  If so, why and what does that say?
  • Is this type of thing happening for just a handful of people out there? How would we know?  Can the turnitin.com’s of the world detect/stop this?
  • If their services are in demand, should that inform or influence any differences in the strategies or pedagogies we utilize within higher education?  Do we need to re-evaluate what’s really being achieved and not achieved? That is, if employers didn’t look to a college degree, would students come to learn anyway or would they be gone by morning?
  • What, if anything, does it say about students’ ethics?  Matters of the heart?

.

WE take your class dot com -- should these people go to jail?

 

Look at some of the “services,” “benefits,” and messages being offered therein:

  • We take your online classes for you and you get an A
    Underlying message: We’ll help you get that piece of paper so you can move on to what really counts.  (Don’t worry about not knowing anything…you won’t have to prove yourself later on…and never mind about your work ethic, this is a one-time-cutting-the-corners type of decision, right? Isn’t it? Isn’t it?!)
  • Life is too short to spend on classes you have no interest in
  • Give us a deadline and we will meet it!
    Underlying message: Corporations outsource many things, why shouldn’t you?  (Never mind that learning should be your core business and should not be outsourced.)


How about you all, what are some questions that this type of thing raises in your minds?

 

Key findings from Executive Excess 2012: The CEO Hands in Uncle Sam’s Pocket — from the Institute for Policy Studies by Sarah Anderson, Chuck Collins, Scott Klinger, Sam Pizzigati

.

Executive Excess 2012

Key findings:

  • Of last year’s 100 highest-paid U.S. corporate chief executives, 26 took home more in CEO pay than their companies paid in federal income taxes, up from the 25 we noted in last year’s analysis. Seven firms made the list in both 2011 and 2010.
  • The CEOs of these 26 firms received $20.4 million in average total compensation last year. That’s a 23 percent increase over the average for last year’s list of 2010’s tax dodging executives
  • The four most direct tax subsidies for excessive executive pay cost taxpayers an estimated $14.4 billion per year—$46 for every American man, woman, and child. That amount could also cover the annual cost of hiring 211,732 elementary-school teachers or creating 241,593 clean-energy jobs.

 

From DSC:
Considering our corporations are sitting on $1.X trillion, where is our nation’s heart? Priorities? Care for fellow mankind? It seems the “every man for himself” philosophy and manner of living is alive and well here in America. My alma mater would be proud — it’s their philosophy exactly.

 

 

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From DSC:
Note the job descriptions further on down the page at shapetheworld.frThese are the types of jobs that may likely be in demand in the near future. Are we ready?

See also:

 

From DSC:
The above video reminds me why I posted this one.

 

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Below are but a few examples that focus on money — is it any wonder that Jesus talked so much about this very subject!?!
(Second only to talking about the kingdom of heaven.)


 

 

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Addendum on 7/23/12:

  • Wealthy hiding $21 trillion in tax havens, report says — from cbcnews
    ‘Debtor countries’ are actually wealthy when hidden money is accounted for

    Excerpt:

    The “super-rich elite” are hiding more than $21 trillion US in tax havens around the world, an amount roughly equal to the combined GDP of the United States and Japan, according to a new report.

From DSC:
Readers of this blog will know that I am pro-technology — at least in most areas. However, as our hearts can sometimes become hardened and our feet can sometimes find themselves on slippery ethical ground, we really need hearts, minds, and consciences that prompt us to care about other people — and to do the right thing as a result of that perspective.

 


Example articles that brought this to my mind recently include:


 

7 sinister technologies from Orwell’s 1984 that are still a threat — from dvice.com by Hal Rappaport

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Technology is a wonderful thing, but in the words of Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” If we are not careful, the technology we know and love could be used against us, even subtly. In the year 1984, Apple thought IBM was the bringer of “Big Brother.” In reality, the technology of today better resembles George Orwell’s dystopian vision than a 1980s era PC.

Every day we are in the process of becoming a more connected society. With social networks, cloud computing and even more specific, less-thought-about tech such as Internet-connected home surveillance systems, we may find ourselves in a delicate balance of trust and paranoia.

While we are grateful that we don’t live in a world as bleak as Orwell’s Oceana, it’s clear that the technology now exists to make his world possible if we let it. Keeping our paranoia in check, we should all be mindful of our technology and how it’s used. Security is a good thing and so is saving money, but consider how much of each your personal freedom is worth.

Wiping away your Siri “fingerprint” — from technologyreview.com by David Talbot
Your voice can be a biometric identifier, like your fingerprint. Does Apple really have to store it on its own servers?

Excerpt:

“What I’ve discovered through building and running very targeted online ad campaigns using this data is that users respond favorably to ads that are more targeted, but only if the ads don’t make it clear that I’m targeting sensitive information about them,” he said. “What’s most interesting, and what I’m learning, are which attributes are considered too creepy, and which ones are acceptable.”

“Google Now” knows more about you than your family does – are you OK with that? — from readwriteweb.com by Mark Hachman

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Google Now aggregates the information Google already collects about you on a daily basis: accessing your email, your calendar, your contacts, your text messages, your location, your shopping habits, your payment history, as well as your choices in music, movies and books. It can even scan your photos and automatically identify them based on their subject, not just the file name (in the Google I/O demo, Google Now correctly found a picture of the Great Pyramid). About the only aspect of your online life that Google hasn’t apparently assimilated yet is your opinions expressed on Google+. But that’s undoubtedly coming.

Social network privacy settings compared — from techhive.com by Nick Mediati

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

It should go without saying that protecting your privacy online is kind of a big deal. While people are generally good at not giving out their personal information to just any website that asks for it, those same people can be found filling their Facebook accounts with everything from their birthday to where they live and work. Putting this sensitive information onto a social network not only leaves your data exposed to third-parties (advertisers and so forth), but also to anyone who happens across your profile.

Facebook, Google+, and Twitter all have settings that let you tweak what others can see on your profile—but navigating them can be a bit of a mess. Not all social networks give you complete control over your privacy online, so here’s a quick overview of what Facebook, Google+, and Twitter allow you to do.

U.S. companies lost at least $13 billion to espionage last year — from ieee.org by Robert Charette

Google Glass & Now: Utopia or Dystopia? — from extremetech.com by Sebastian Anthony

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

If you didn’t watch the Google I/O keynote presented by Vic Gundotra, Hugo Barra, and Sergey Brin, let me quickly bring you up to speed.  Google Now is an Android app that uses your location, behavior history, and search history to display “just the right information at just the right time.”  For example, if you regularly search for a certain sports team, Now will show you a card with the latest scores for that team.  When Now predicts or detects that you’re leaving home in the morning, it will display a card with any relevant traffic information.  If you have a lunch meeting in your Google Calendar, Now will show you the route you need to take to get there — and when you need to leave to get there on time.  If you search Google for an airline flight, Now will show a card with the flight details (and any delays).

Big e-reader is watching you — from PaidContent.org  by Laura Hazard Owen

Why privacy is big business for trial lawyers — from technologyreview.com by Antonio Regalado
Tech companies that make privacy mistakes can expect a lawsuit.

Legal discovery: The billboard is imaginary, but the trend is real.
Trial lawyers are ramping up lawsuits over online privacy breaches.
Flickr Creative Commons | AdamL212 and istock/stocknroll


Addendums
On 7/6/12:
  • Your e-book is reading you — WSJ.com by Alexandra Alter
    Digital-book publishers and retailers now know more about their readers than ever before. How that’s changing the experience of reading.

On 7/16/12:

On 7/23/12:

The Service Patch — from The New York Times, OP-ED piece by David Brooks

Let’s put it differently. Many people today find it easy to use the vocabulary of entrepreneurialism, whether they are in business or social entrepreneurs. This is a utilitarian vocabulary. How can I serve the greatest number? How can I most productively apply my talents to the problems of the world? It’s about resource allocation.

People are less good at using the vocabulary of moral evaluation, which is less about what sort of career path you choose than what sort of person you are.

In whatever field you go into, you will face greed, frustration and failure. You may find your life challenged by depression, alcoholism, infidelity, your own stupidity and self-indulgence. So how should you structure your soul to prepare for this? Simply working at Amnesty International instead of McKinsey is not necessarily going to help you with these primal character tests.

Furthermore, how do you achieve excellence? Around what ultimate purpose should your life revolve? Are you capable of heroic self-sacrifice or is life just a series of achievement hoops? These, too, are not analytic questions about what to do. They require literary distinctions and moral evaluations.

When I read the Stanford discussion thread, I saw young people with deep moral yearnings. But they tended to convert moral questions into resource allocation questions; questions about how to be into questions about what to do.

 

Also see:

Excerpt:
If you’re in college, or happen to be about to graduate, and you’ve been mocked for getting a liberal arts degree, here’s a piece of welcome news: You’re actually in more demand than those who are getting finance and accounting degrees. That’s one of the findings of a new survey of 225 employers issued today by Millennial Branding and Experience Inc.

 

From DSC:
My thanks to Mr. Will Katerberg, Dir. Mellema Program and Professor of History at Calvin College, for these resources

 

The 10 poorest high schools in the U.S. — from Online Universities by Staff Writers

Excerpt:

Anyone who has ever read any of Jonathan Kozol’s books, such as Death at an Early Age, Amazing Grace, Savage Inequalities, or Shame of the Nation, cannot help but be affected by the portrayal of the inhumane conditions under which students and teachers in some of the nation’s poorest schools are expected to learn. There are shootings in the streets outside, no heat or air conditioning, crumbling ceilings and walls, classes housed in closets and trailers, overcrowding, malnourished and homeless students, and every dehumanizing condition you would imagine in a Third World country — right here in the U.S. Yet every year, a few students from these schools manage to graduate and find their way to college. This can only be accomplished by the dedication of teachers who choose to work in terrible conditions, for little pay, and who often receive criticism or outright scorn for their efforts.

Mr. Kozol hasn’t written a book since 2007 — even the most dedicated activists and educators grow old — but there has been little change for the better in the poorest schools in this country since then. In fact, with the recent economic downturn, conditions are likely to have gotten worse in many of them. In keeping with the spirit of Kozol’s work to shed light on the plight of students and teachers laboring under terrible conditions, here is a look at the 10 poorest schools in the U.S.

 

Also from DSC:
I want to add the following thoughts…which I was going to post at some other time, but I thought that these reflections were very relevant to the above item.

*************

We’re all in the same boat together.

If we invest in programs like providing homes for the homeless, early start programs, and in helping families with daycare and additional education-related resources, we can reap the harvest of those investments for years down the line.  As a more immediate benefit, teachers can have a chance to address the entire class, not just the 4-5 students who require most of their attention.

I was struck by the truths expressed in the excerpt below concerning ed reform from John Holland (and The Future of Teaching blog) “Breaking Cycles is What I Do” (emphasis DSC):

I have seen it with the families of children I have taught in Head Start. Cycles are broken when you focus on more than just test scores. They are broken when you support the whole family overcome the challenges of poverty. Head Start uses an overlapping service delivery system that ensures that children and families are getting what they need to be successful. The same thing could happen with teachers. If we only measure test scores and we only evaluate teachers on test scores we will never see the whole picture. We need to look at the overlapping systems that have created the education we are delivering now. We need to look at teacher prep, professional development, compensation, testing rationale, working conditions, preparedness of students, technology, commitment from families, funding, unions, and societal expectations. We can break this cycle of ineffective reform if we look at the overlapping systems and start to manipulate them to do one thing — support student learning and teacher effectiveness. It needs to be an overlapping effort, not just teachers, not just foundations, not just policy makers, not just students and parents, not just corporations, not just you and not just me. (And just to be clear, public rating of educators as is happening in New York is not about student learning or teacher effectiveness.)

It can be done though.

This is why I am so passionate about Teaching 2030 and the progress we are making to change how educational policy gets made and the value of teachers in the process. Here is a brief clip of my perspective on the topic.

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21stcenturyeducators.com

 

Year two notable delegates

  • Dr. Len Stolyarchuk – Moscow International School of Tomorrow, Russia
  • Dr. Mark Daley – Heritage Christian Online School, Canada
  • Megan Strange – North Cobb Christian School, USA
  • Barend Blom – Dalat International School, Malaysia

"Bully" shows that we have too many hearts of stone

Please also see:

 

Deuteronomy 6: 6-7

Deuteronomy 6: 6-7 – from Bible Gateway’s Verse of the Day

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

 

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