Monday, March 10, 2014

The History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education - week 6

The MOOC actually ended last week, but I fell behind on both readings and lectures. I've been working on midterm reports for my own students and the final report on this year's EVO (Electronic Village Online) to be presented to the CALL Interest Section at the TESOL Convention in Portland in just 2 weeks. But tonight I finally listened to the first 5-minute segment of the Week 6 lectures. The week is going to be about institutional change.

(March 17, 2014)
Segment 2: "Making Alliances with Other Changemakers":

  • HASTAC's commitment to inclusivity and democracy in education
  • Getting away from the old university structure, which separates learners from each other and over-measures them
  • HASTAC's partners:  PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge @ Duke; the Praxis Network (expanding the role and impact of change makers in higher ed); FemTechNet.newschool.edu (enhancing the role of women in technology); THATcamps (The Humanities and Technology camps)
  • Changemakers have to "make common cause" with each other.
Segment 3: "Reinvest in Public Education"
  • Radical transformation of education, peer-to-peer education, do-it-yourself education, and exploring new kinds of education all depend on the re-funding of public K-12 education. 
  • We should support community colleges, vocational education, arts colleges--the whole spectrum of education.
  • Accessible to masses of people at low cost
  • Interesting statistics: in the US, federal/state/municipalities make $231K profit for every dollar invested in graduates (employment, taxes, no unemployment, no prison). Transformation from funding prisons to funding education. What we spend embodies our values. Do we value education?
  • Is a college degree "worth it"? A person with a degree still earns more than a person without a degree after loans are repaid.
  • Income inequality: the gap is worldwide, but the US leads the world in the spreading gap. :-( The top 1% increased their income by 275% (1979-2013); middle 60% increased by 40%; lowest 5%: flat or negative. That also correlates with college and support for public education.
  • 2012: The average child had only 6 months more education than his/her parents.
  • 450K students on community college waiting list in California alone.
  • James Duderstadt (UMich) on the declining support for public universities
  • the US is now 11th in college graduation rate
  • Income inequality: 50% of Americans in top quartile of wealth have a degree; 10% in the lowest quartile (clear correlation between education and wealth)
  • More positively: in 1862, the Morrill Act - took proceeds from federally owned land and used it as a public good (--> land grant university system). Could the sale of bandwidth be used similarly? We ALL benefit from higher education; we are already a powerful alliance to fight for increased support of public education as a public good that makes society better. Let's make sure it's worth the money we are spending on it. It's OUR future, no matter what our age.
Segment 4: 

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