Saturday, April 16, 2011

Advisory Bored Reading List 04/16/2011

  • Peter Thiel is a Pay Pal co-founder thinks we're in a bubble, again, and this time the bubble is education.  He says “A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed”, noting that you can't question the value of education today.

    And if you think about it, our description of education sounds an awful lot like our description of housing a few years ago (and internet stocks a few years before that).  Everyone needs to own property (bachelor's degree).  The value of property (education) never goes down. Borrow the money for property (education) and buy now -- it's an investment.

    Perhaps our problem is that we confuse education - life long learning - with degrees.  While ongoing learning/relearning has never been more critical to individual success, the value proposition of a 4-year degree in the first 4 years after high school becomes ever more questionable.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Advisory Bored Reading List 04/15/2011

  • Truly a sad commentary.  The only state education institution that didn't participate in the University Center is the one that will be allowed to run it in the future.

    My favorite quote was "providing new approaches to old problems". Honestly, this providing old approaches to new problems.  But hey, it's only money.  We got plenty of it for post-secondary education.  Sigh ........  

  • Danny Westneat doesn't pull any punch in this article about the UW's decision to enroll more out-of-state students. In his opinion, the UW is doing exactly what we asked them to do - to get by with less and less money.

    "Sheesh, we weren't even willing to go along with a temporary, 2-cents-per-can tax on soda pop last year. Now we're going to get all indignant when the UW looks to the other 49 states because we're too cheap?"

    As Westneat points out, the funding is only going to get worse. The state paid 70% - 80% for the cost for me to attend the UW back in the ... well just you never mind. It's fallen to 45% today and heading south.

    Westneat thinks we need to fund education as we had in the past, but I have to wonder if that's possible. It's a lot easier to subsidize 80% of a student's tuition if only 10% of graduating high school seniors go on to college. In a world where k-16 is almost mandatory of the "best paying" jobs, well that's a lot of money.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Advisory Bored Reading List 04/11/2011

  • Nice letter to the editor of the Everett Herald questioning the value of WSU running the University Center at EvCC.  I don't fully agree that north Snohomish county needs its own university, but her challenges to the idea of a "employer-centric" educational program and the replacement of the University Center with a WSU branch are right on target.

    WSU has done nothing to earn that position.  They failed to establish a presence at University Center when all the other universities choose to participate.   
  • Everett Herald columnist Julie Muhlstein tries to put a "face" on the UW entrance issue - where students with extremely hight GPA's aren't getting in.  As is often the case, Muhlstein's article seems short on analysis and heavy on drama.

    I've got several issues with the article, but my biggest is this sense that the UW is the only university worth going to in this state.  The former student featured couldn't get into the UW, so went out of state.  Huh?  No WSU, no Western, not even Evergreen?  Could have got two years at a local CC then transferred in as a junior.

    The mindset that every kid must go to the UW in the four years following high school graduation absurd.  Elite schools leave good students out, that's what elite means. Sometimes it just a numbers game, too many students chasing too few openings.

    I have little sympathy for the students or parents left out this year.  It won't be the end of their life.
  • The Virginia Board of Education has mandated local school boards to develop policies for teachers and the use of social media to interact with student following one particular molestation case.  But other teachers have found the tools useful from an educational standpoint. The article sites an example of one teacher using Twitter to help students write more concisely.  The question is how districts will balance the benefits of the tools with the misuses.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Advisory Bored Reading List 04/03/2011

  • Salman Kahn was a hedge fund analyst who recorded some videos to help him tutor his cousins.  The videos were open to all, the visitors found their way to the videos.  From that the Kahn Academy has grown hundreds (probably thousands) of videos.

    In this TED talk Kahn explains the power of using video in the class room and how it can reshape education.
  • Ignore the headline and read the article.  After you get past the straight-A kids be left out of the UW and the increase of out-of-state students, the article gets down to some useful information about how funding of our post-secondary education.

    One closing thought.  At the end of the article Rep. Carlyle is quoted about qualified kids not getting into the UW.  This requires some careful consideration.  At some point, an elite public school is going to reject the good kids of tax paying parents. Expectations that everyone can go to the UW are just unrealistic and our government leaders shouldn't encourage that thinking.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.