The document that triggered Goldrick-Rab's energetic critique (see previos Scoop on this page, "Is This Time Different?") Published by the chief information officers of the Big Ten schools and the University of Chicago.
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by Jill Lapore
"Every age has a theory of rising and falling, of growth and decay, of bloom and wilt: a theory of nature. Every age also has a theory about the past and the present, of what was and what is, a notion of time: a theory of history. Theories of history used to be supernatural: the divine ruled time; the hand of God, a special providence, lay behind the fall of each sparrow. If the present differed from the past, it was usually worse: supernatural theories of history tend to involve decline, a fall from grace, the loss of God’s favor, corruption. Beginning in the eighteenth century, as the intellectual historian Dorothy Ross once pointed out, theories of history became secular; then they started something new—historicism, the idea “that all events in historical time can be explained by prior events in historical time.” Things began looking up. First, there was that, then there was this, and this is better than that. The eighteenth century embraced the idea of progress; the nineteenth century had evolution; the twentieth century had growth and then innovation. Our era has disruption, which, despite its futurism, is atavistic. It’s a theory of history founded on a profound anxiety about financial collapse, an apocalyptic fear of global devastation, and shaky evidence.
"Most big ideas have loud critics. Not disruption. Disruptive innovation as the explanation for how change happens has been subject to little serious criticism, partly because it’s headlong, while critical inquiry is unhurried; partly because disrupters ridicule doubters by charging them with fogyism, as if to criticize a theory of change were identical to decrying change; and partly because, in its modern usage, innovation is the idea of progress jammed into a criticism-proof jack-in-the-box.
"The idea of progress—the notion that human history is the history of human betterment—dominated the world view of the West between the Enlightenment and the First World War. It had critics from the start, and, in the last century, even people who cherish the idea of progress, and point to improvements like the eradication of contagious diseases and the education of girls, have been hard-pressed to hold on to it while reckoning with two World Wars, the Holocaust and Hiroshima, genocide and global warming. Replacing “progress” with “innovation” skirts the question of whether a novelty is an improvement: the world may not be getting better and better but our devices are getting newer and newer."
Jim Lerman's insight:
You've heard about this battle; now read it for yourself. In the pages of the New Yorker, Lapore takes on Clayton Christensen in a no-holds-barred, heavyweight, intellectual boxing match -- arguing that "disruption" and its supporters lie at the root of what ails the age we live in.
From the website
"This report is a synthesis of ongoing research, design, and implementation of an approach to education called “connected learning.” It advocates for broadened access to learning that is socially embedded, interest-driven, and oriented toward educational, economic, or political opportunity. Connected learning is realized when a young person is able to pursue a personal interest or passion with the support of friends and caring adults, and is in turn able to link this learning and interest to academic achievement, career success or civic engagement.
"This model is based on evidence that the most resilient, adaptive, and effective learning involves individual interest as well as social support to overcome adversity and provide recognition.
"This report investigates how we can use new media to foster the growth and sustenance of environments that support connected learning in a broad-based and equitable way. This report also offers a design and reform agenda, grounded in a rich understanding of child development and learning, to promote and test connected learning theories."
by Steve Kolowich
"The University of Zurich says it has cleared up the bizarre case of the MOOC that went missing. But the university is offering few clarifying details to the public, which has been left to piece together theories from the university’s statements and from cryptic tweets by the course’s professor about an unspecified experiment he might have been trying to conduct.
"As I reported this morning, the content of a massive open online course taught by one of the university’s lecturers, Paul-Olivier Dehaye, vanished last week without explanation, leaving an empty husk on Coursera’s platform. The course, “Teaching Goes Massive: New Skills Required,” was one week into its planned three-week run when the videos and other course materials disappeared. Coursera officials said Mr. Dehaye, a mathematician, deleted the materials on July 2, and the company has since restored them. But the company’s officials initially were as confused as everyone else."
* Research Papers *
ALL ARTICLES AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD AS PDFs.
by Dave Jarrat
"In their effort to improve outcomes, colleges and universities are becoming more sophisticated in how they analyze student data – a promising development. But too often they focus their analytics muscle on predicting which students will fail, and then allocate all of their support resources to those students.
"That’s a mistake. Colleges should instead broaden their approach to determine which support services will work best with particular groups of students. In other words, they should go beyond predicting failure to predicting which actions are most likely to lead to success."
OMG, I'm quoted in this article...
"The most vulnerable, according to Jim Lerman of Kean University in New Jersey, are the “middle-tier institutions, which produce America’s teachers, middle managers and administrators”. They could be replaced in greater part by online courses, he suggests. So might weaker community colleges, although those which cultivate connections to local employers might yet prove resilient."
Learning to Teach Online is a free online class taught by Simon McIntyre and Negin Mirriahi of UNSW Australia (The University of New South Wales)
Learning to Teach Online
"Based upon the successful educational resources of the same name, the Learning to Teach Online (LTTO) MOOC is designed to help existing educators establish or improve their own online or blended teaching practices. The target audience is primarily teachers in higher education, K-12, community college, and vocational or private education."
by Trent Batson
"Information technology is the ultimate control technology; it is also the ultimate distribution-of-controltechnology. It is both centralizing and democratizing. Higher education, then, lives on the horns of this particular dilemma: should we expedite “delivery” or should we hand power to learners? Should higher education organize around delivery of content or distribution of control? (We can do both, of course).
"Technology compounds the significance of this choice for higher education. It pushes out the limits of the continuum between delivery of content (for example, MOOCs) and distribution of control (for example, self-paced, evidence-based learning).
"There is money in delivery of content; distribution of control is a harder sell. To the extent LMS’s are used in support of delivery of content, they are an easy sell; to the extent that eportfolios support distribution of control, they are a hard sell."
Jim Lerman's insight:
A nimble and interesting discussion.
A free, flexible, nine-week online course that will allow K-16 educators to learn about how deeper learning can be put into practice.
"Deeper learning describes a range of instructional approaches that delivers the skills and knowledge students will need to succeed in a world that is changing at an unprecedented pace. Deeper learning prepares students to:
Jim Lerman's insight:
The entire MOOC and all its resources are located here. The first iteration of this MOOC ran during Jan-March 2014.
by Adam Liptak
"In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the vast amount of data contained on modern cellphones must be protected from routine inspection
"While the decision will offer protection to the 12 million people arrested every year, many for minor crimes, its impact will most likely be much broader. The ruling almost certainly also applies to searches of tablet and laptop computers, and its reasoning may apply to searches of homes and businesses and of information held by third parties like phone companies."