Infographic of the Day: Of course the MPAA doesn’t want people to see Bully. If people stopped turning a blind eye to bullying the MPAA could no longer exist.
On my commute one morning recently, one of the local radio stations was discussing a ban on Ugg boots by a Philadelphia school district because students were hiding their cell phones in the calf-high versions and using them in class. The radio announcers were discussing how cell phones in the classroom are a distraction and that “real learning” doesn’t take place with a mobile device in hand. After listening to the announcers and various other callers lament the student use of cell phones in the classroom, I decided to call in and offer a different perspective.
What did I say? Bring them on!
Click through to find out why.
PAY ATTENTION TO “GOOGLE INSTANT.” In most cases, Google’s instant search function, which is fairly new, will accurately predict what you’re searching for and offer suggestions. “Pay attention to it,” Russell says. “You don’t need to keep typing!” And sometimes it’ll help you come up with the right words for your search phrase. It’s all part of tapping into the wisdom of the crowd, he says. “It’s good when you’re stuck in a hard research problem. Like ‘Which kind of hybrid vehicle should I buy?’ might result in ‘hybrid minivans’ or other ideas you might not have known about.’”
Sometimes Google Instant totally slows down my computer or has ridiculous ideas for what I am looking for.
College has its skeptics, and the skeptics make good points. Does a four-year university make sense for every student? Probably not. Is the modern on-site college education necessarily the ideal means to deliver training after high school? Maybe not. Vocational training and community colleges deserve a place in this discussion. And we happen to be living through a quiet revolution in higher education.
Here are three quick examples. First, beginning this year, students at MITx can take free online courses offered by MIT and receive a credential for a price far less than tuition if they demonstrate mastery in the subject. Second, the University of Southern California is experimenting with online classrooms that connect students across the country in front of a single professor. Third, there’s Western Governors University, a non-profit, private online university that’s spearheading the movement toward “competency-based degrees” that reward what students can prove they know rather than how many hours or credits they amass.
Some of these experiments will fail, and some will scale. What’s important is that they offer higher ed and retraining that is cheap, creative, and convenient. If we can win the marketing war in neighborhoods blighted by NEETs and deliver a post-high school education to some of those 7 million young people who have disengaged with education and work, we will be spending money to save money.
Take out a globe and give it a spin. I challenge you to land on a region where education gains aren’t translating to productivity and income gains. The highest-income countries have the highest rates of enrollment in secondary school and the smallest share of informal employment that is vulnerable to an economic downturn. There is a cost to not educating young people. The evidence is literally all around us.
Finally, an alternative to cookie-cutter education: the personalized curriculum.
That’s the promise of Digital Teaching Platforms: Customizing Classroom Learning for Each Student, a book by Harvard educational technology researchers Chris Dede and John Richards, who say they have identified a new learning technology called digital teaching platforms (DTPs).
DTPs represent the culmination of several evolving technology trends in K-20 education: the print-to-digital transition, the push for one-to-one computing, and the embrace of interactive display technologies.
“For decades, researchers have been developing technology solutions to support learning, monitor student progress, foster classroom discussion, and provide a framework for teachers, but it’s been a challenge to create the efficient, one-step approach schools need,” says Dede, Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
A core of the technology is “Time To Know,” which provides a one-step solution for today’s one-to-one computing classrooms. Teachers use the interactive comprehensive curriculum and the digital teaching platform to manage all classroom activities and deliver a personalized curriculum to every student.
If you live in a rich country, the Internet has probably changed the way you consume (and produce) information. But when you look at global-scale knowledge production, things are as they ever were: the Anglophone world dominates with the United States doing the lion’s share of academic and user-generated publishing.
Those are the messages of the Oxford Internet Institute’s new e-book, Geographies of the World’s Knowledge, from which the above graphics were drawn. The book’s authors, Corinne Flick of the Convoco Foundation and the Institute’s Mark Graham and Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, reluctantly conclude that the Internet has not delivered on the hopes that it would make knowledge “more accessible.”
“Many commentators speculated that [the Internet] would allow people outside of industrialised nations to gain access to all networked and codified knowledge, thus mitigating the traditionally concentrated nature of information production and consumption,” they write. “These early expectations remain largely unrealised.”We’re not only talking about publishing in academic journals or Wikipedia. The researchers also sampled user-generated content on Google and found that rich countries, especially the United States, dominate the production of user content.
The fact of the matter is that people without money can’t afford to get the education necessary to publish in academic journals, Internet-enabled or not. The other fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people in very poor countries don’t spend their time producing content for free. Hope as we might, the Internet isn’t a magic wand that makes the world more equal.
Read more. [Image: Oxford Internet Institute]